Prosecutor: Mom killed son, took body aboard Metra train
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A Round Lake Beach woman charged in the fatal beating of her 6-year-old son carried his body onto a Metra train and through Union Station in Chicago, before finally reporting his death while at her parents' South Side home, authorities said Tuesday.
Jamie L. Jones, 29, of the 1800 block of Cedar Lake Road, showed no reaction Tuesday morning after being told she is facing two counts of first-degree murder and one count of concealing a homicide stemming from the death of her son, Carl Rice Jr.
A Lake County judge on Tuesday ordered her held on $3 million bail. Judge George Strickland deemed Jones a flight risk and ordered her to be on 24-hour curfew, if she posts the required $300,000 to go free while awaiting trial.
Strickland also barred Jones from any contact with her 9-year-old daughter and newborn child. They are staying with relatives, officials said.
Defense attorney Charis Walker declined to comment after Jones' court appearance Tuesday.
Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Stephen Scheller said Carl was injured by Jones prior to falling asleep on June 30. The child died in his bed at some point between June 30 and July 1, Scheller said.
Scheller said video shows Jones took the child to the Round Lake Beach Metra station July 1 to catch a train to Chicago. The child was placed inside the station in a corner seat, propped up with the help of a backpack Jones was carrying, Scheller said.
Jones stepped outside to smoke a couple of cigarettes, Scheller said, then re-entered the building, picked the child up and carried him out of the station when the Metra train arrived.
Video from Union Station shows Jones carrying the child over her shoulder, acting as if he were asleep, before getting into a car driven by her father and driving away.
Jones later alerted family members that "something is wrong with Carl," at which point they contacted paramedics, Scheller said. The boy was pronounced dead a short time later.
An autopsy conducted by the Cook County medical examiner's office showed Carl had extensive bruising on his face, arms, chest, buttocks, thighs, skull and inside his mouth, and determined he died from blunt force trauma, Scheller said. The medical examiner also determined the child had died 6 to 8 hours before authorities were called and rigor mortis had set in, he added.
Jones initially told investigators she had hit her son four or five times before his death, Scheller said.
After a four-month investigation, Jones was arrested Saturday on a warrant for failure to appear in court, and then held until murder charges were approved Monday by the Lake County state's attorney's office.
After her arrest, Jones admitted beating the child in the face more than six to seven times, Scheller said.
"This was a horrific crime involving the death of an innocent child who was beaten to death at the hands of his own mother," he said.
Jones is due back in court on Nov. 30.