A judge denied bail Tuesday for a Chicago man accused of shooting and killing a 6-month-old baby girl while targeting her father whom he suspected had stolen a video game console.
Koman Willis, 33, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Jonylah Watkins on March 11. Prosecutors said her father, Jonathan Watkins, was the intended target of the gunfire. Watkins was changing his daughter's diaper in a minivan when she was shot as he lifted her to kiss her, prosecutors said. Watkins was seriously wounded in the attack.
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"The defendant admitted to parking his van in an alley, heading out of his van and approaching the victims' van and opening fire on the unsuspecting victims," Assistant State's Attorney Heather Kent said.
Willis' mother's home was burglarized about a month before the shooting and he suspected Watkins, Kent said.
"The defendant told others that he would shoot the people responsible for the burglary of his mother's home," Kent said.
The shooting, which took place in the middle of the day in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the city's South Side, was one of several earlier this year that brought attention to the gang violence in Chicago.
Willis is a documented gang member with 38 previous arrests and was acting in response to a burglary at his mother's home, Chicago police said. He also is charged with aggravated battery with a firearm.
His attorney, Rob Fisher, told reporters after Tuesday's hearing that his client is "maintaining his innocence."
Prosecutors said witnesses saw the alleged gunman jump into a van that sped away after the shooting. Police said they used surveillance video to match the van with a vehicle owned by Willis' girlfriend that he was known to drive. Prosecutors said Willis admitted to others that he saw Watkins and drove off to get his gun before returning to open fire on him and his daughter.
Cell towers records show Willis was in the immediate area at the time of the shooting, prosecutors said.
Willis surrendered to police Saturday.