On Feb. 15, Julia Elaine Bevely was found guilty at the Williamson County Court of three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Jade Marie Beasley while the child's father was at work two years ago.
On Dec. 5, 2020, a seemingly distraught Bevely called 911 and claimed Jade was unresponsive inside a bathtub with “wounds all over her,” The Southern Illinoisan reported.
At the time, Bevely alleged she saw a man running from the Williamson County home she shared with her boyfriend, the child's father.
Bevely claimed she left Jade home alone briefly to run an errand and when she got back, she noticed the man, who she said was wearing all black.
Officers responding to the residence found Jade without a pulse in a bathtub with the water running. Officers at the scene noted the water in the tub was clear.
When the child was pulled from the tub, officers noticed a gaping hole in her abdomen but little blood was coming from her wounds as they attempted CPR on her.
She was pronounced dead shortly after, police said.
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Patrol Sgt. Aaron Anderson of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene and saw blood spatter inside the home, indicating a violent altercation had occurred.
Anderson said there was blood in the kitchen, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a front room and he had “never seen that much blood” at a crime scene in his 13-year career.
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Investigators recovered security camera video from the neighborhood and were unable to find footage of a man going into or out of the defendant’s residence.
Investigators interviewed numerous family members and learned Bevely took care of four children, belonging to both her and her boyfriend.
On Dec. 9, 2020, she was charged with Jade's murder, WPSD reported.
During trial, forensics experts testified to finding bite marks on Bevely’s forearm that contained Jade’s DNA as well as lacerations on Bevely’s hands that appeared to show she was holding a knife when cut, The Southern Illinoisan reported.
According to CrimeOnline, DNA expert Dr. Karl Reich testified the victim suffered over 100 stab wounds in the attack.
Jurors deliberated for less than two hours before finding Bevely guilty. She is scheduled to be sentenced on June 2.
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