The man charged with stabbing a 14-year-old teen to death after she interrupted hum burglarizing her suburban Chicago home sent chilling text messages to her mother from the girl’s stolen cell phone, a court heard today.
The heartbroken mother of Kelli O’Laughlin – who found her daughter lying face down in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor on October 27, 2011 – took to the stand Friday for the first day of the murder trial of John L. Wilson, Jr.
Brenda O’Laughlin revealed how she first believed Kelli had committed suicide after finding her with a knife nearby at their home in Indian Head Park and called 911.
Keli died in hospital that night, but at about 11.30am the next day, Brenda started receiving disturbing texts from her daughter’s smart phone, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
‘Hello Brenda,’ read the first message.
‘She wanted to tell you something before I killed her,’ read another text.
At 12.30pm, Brenda’s cellphone showed an incoming phone call from Kelli’s phone, but she didn’t answer.
At 3.04pm, she received the text: ‘You’ve got two minutes to text me before I break the phone.’
She replied to that message asking: ‘Who are you and what do you want?’
Then, according to The Huffington Post, came the most haunting text.
‘You will know soon when I come see you,’ it said.
The other person added something about how he or she is looking at photos on Kelli’s phone.
Brenda texted back: ‘Can you send me a picture of you, so I can look at you a lot?’
There was no reply, and the phone was turned over to police.
The prosecution says that Wilson, a 38-year-old parolee, used a landscaping rock wrapped in a red knit cap to smash a window and break into the O’Laughlin’s $500,000 house.
They claim Kelli surprised Wilson in the family room during the break-in when she got home from school about 3.40pm.
Wilson grabbed an eight inch carving knife from a butcher’s block and stabbed Kelli in the neck, back and chest.
One of the wounds pierced her aorta.
He then dragged her body from the family room into the kitchen, before ransacking the home.
Wilson fled with a bowl of coins, an iPod Touch and Kelli’s phone.
Prosecutors say he caught a cab home and used the coins to pay for the fare.
Kelli was discovered by her mother at around 5.30pm.
Wilson was arrested on November 2, after police tracked Kelli’s cell phone.
Agents learned that Kelli’s phone had been traveling with another around Chicago.
They allege the second phone belonged to Wilson.
However Wilson was not in possession of Kelli’s phone when he was arrested.
DNA recovered from the knit cap matched Wilson.
Three witnesses also identified him from a line up.
Wilson has an extensive history of criminal violence, including a combined nine years spent in prison for carjacking in 1993 and aggravated battery in 2001.
His most recently received an 11-year sentence for robbery.
He was taken into custody in August 2002 and paroled on November 16, 2010, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Wilson’s attorney, John Paul Carroll, questioned whether Kelli had committed suicide during his opening statement.
He informed the jury that, if she did not, they have to decide whether the police have charged the right person with her murder, The Sun-Times reported.
Carroll said no blood was found on any of the clothes that Wilson was wearing the day Kelli died.
He said the police did not thoroughly investigate other possible suspects, such as the landscapers who were working at the O’Laughlins’ house the day of the crime.
Carroll added that while DNA belonging to other people were also found on the knit cap, not just Wilson’s.
The prosecution say Wilson was visiting a woman in the area and, when she was not home, he started casing the area for houses to rob.
The trial continues.
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