Jonylah Watkins Murder: Koman Willis pleads not guilty to killing 6-month-old

July 10, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Koman Willis appeared before Judge Nicholas Ford Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated battery, according to Cook County State's Attorney's office spokesman Stephen Campbell.

Willis, of the 7800 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue, 32, is accused of shooting 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins and her father, Jonathan Watkins, on March 11 in the 6500 block of South Maryland. He surrendered to police May 26.

Jonylah was sitting in her dad's lap in a vehicle when she was shot multiple times, authorities said. She died the next day at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. Watkins suffered three gunshot wounds in the attack.

Authorities believe the shootings were in retaliation for Watkins allegedly burglarizing Willis' mother's home. A PlayStation video-gaming device was among the items stolen, police said.

Willis has been involved in dozens of drug-related court cases and has also been sentenced to prison for leading police on a chase, according to court records.

He will be back in court for a status hearing on July 22.

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