An Illinois woman was convicted of murder this week, following the 2020 death of an 11-year-old child identified as her boyfriend’s daughter.
According to Law & Crime, Julia Elaine Bevely was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder at the Williamson County Court on Wednesday, in connection with the death of Jade Marie Beasley.
Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Detective Cynthia Giettmann took the stand last week and testified that the defendant called 911 on December 5, 2020, and while hysterical, claimed the victim was unresponsive inside a bathtub with “wounds all over her.”
Bevely asserted that she spotted a man running from the Williamson County home she shared with her boyfriend, adding that she left Jade home alone to briefly run an errand, then noticed the man, who she said was wearing wear all black, when she returned home.
Responding officers arrived at the residence and found the child in the bathtub with the water running. Marion Police Officer Charles “Chuck” Welge checked for a pulse and couldn’t find one, then noted that the water in the tub was clear.
Welge said when he pulled the child from the bathtub, he noticed a large hole in her abdomen but didn’t see any blood coming from her wounds as he attempted CPR. Jade was pronounced dead shortly after.
Patrol Sgt. Aaron Anderson of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office then arrived at the scene and noticed blood spatter inside the home that showed a violent interaction had taken place.
“I have never seen that much blood in my 13-year career,” Anderson said, explaining blood was found in the kitchen, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a front room.
After looking through security camera footage from the neighborhood, investigators said they didn’t see a man in black going to or leaving the defendant’s residence.
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Investigators then interviewed numerous family members and others who knew the defendant, and learned that Bevely took care of four children, including her boyfriend’s and her own, in what the defense called a “blended family.”
While the defendant’s loved ones said they never saw her treat Jade any different than the other children and never saw her use corporal punishment, none of them were at the residence on the day of the murder.
Forensics experts testified that they found bite marks on Bevely’s forearm that had Jade’s DNA on it, while DNA expert, Dr. Karl Reich, testified that the child had over 100 stab wounds on her body.
Lacerations on Bevely’s hands looked “as if she was holding the knife,” Geittman testified.
The child’s father was at work at the time of the murder.
Jurors took around an hour and 40 minutes to find the defendant guilty. She’s scheduled for sentencing on June 2.
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[Featured image: Handout]