John L. Wilson To Plead Not Guilty In Kelli O'Laughlin Murder
A man accused of stabbing a 14-year-old suburban Chicago girl multiple times after she walked in on him burglarizing her home plans to plead not guilty at his arraignment next month, the Chicago Tribune reports.
John L. Wilson Jr., 38, allegedly broke into the Indian Head Park home on Oct. 27 by putting a rock in a knit cap and throwing it through a dining room window. When Kelli O'Laughlin confronted him upon returning home from school, he allegedly stabbed her repeatedly in the back, neck and chest before dragging her body into the kitchen.
Wilson was on parole when O'Laughlin was killed, after spending nearly two decades in and out of prison. Previous convictions include carjacking, spitting on a prison corrections officer, possessing a stolen vehicle, robbery and drug possession. After a 2002 conviction, Wilson reported hearing voices that told him to kill himself. He has received psychiatric help since age 10 and has been diagnosed with mood and personality disorders and depression.
Wilson was arrested after witnesses placed him near the Indian Head Park home at the time of the crime. He was also reportedly found with stolen coins from the O'Laughlin home.
The Tribune has more on evidence linking Wilson to the slaying:
Prosecutors said DNA from the cap also directed authorities toward Wilson. And investigators said they tracked the slain girl's stolen cellphone and found its location paralleled Wilson's movements, which were tracked through his cellphone.
In addition, prosecutors said, Wilson used Kelli's cellphone to send taunting messages to the girl's mother within hours of her child's death.
Some law enforcement officials and community members have called on Governor Pat Quinn to reinstate the death penalty in the O'Laughlin murder case.
"We cannot bring Kelli back," an online petition reads. " ... However, we can make a difference in the future and support the steps needed to reinstate the death penalty for the 'Worst of the Worst' murderers in Illinois."