WAUKEGAN, IL (Gray News) - Illinois state prosecutors say they will seek a natural life sentence for a 19-year-old man charged with murder in the apparent beating death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter.
Johnathan Fair, 19, was indicted Wednesday on four counts of first-degree murder in the death of 4-year-old Skylar Mendez, according to the Lake County News-Sun. He is being held on $5 million bail.
Prosecutors say Fair was babysitting the little girl on Dec. 13 when she spilled juice on an Xbox. The man then allegedly shook the girl “really hard” and beat her, including kicking her down a hallway, as punishment for spilling the juice.
Fair took Skylar to the hospital, where police say he initially told doctors she had fallen and hit her head. The 4-year-old died four days later, and her death was ruled a homicide, WMAQ reports.
According to the News-Sun, doctors noted signs of previous shaking and abuse, likely going back months.
If Fair is convicted, he could face a sentence ranging from 60 years to life in prison. He is scheduled for arraignment Feb. 17.
The indictments are an upgrade from Fair’s previous charges of aggravated battery, the News-Sun reports.
Police say the girl’s mother was not at home when the alleged incident occurred.