Murder charge filed in death of 12-year-old Crete boy

May 14

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that a first-degree murder charge was filed Thursday (May 14, 2009) against a Crete man accused of beating to death his disabled foster child in July.

Fred D. Johnson II, 43, of 3406 Beckwith Lane, Crete, also was charged with aggravated battery of a child and unlawful restraint in connection with the death of 12-year-old Kevin Johnson, who had a mental disability.

The murder charge alleges that between July 15 and July 18, Fred Johnson struck Kevin about the head and body, thereby causing his death. The aggravated battery charge alleges Fred Johnson struck Kevin about the head and body. The unlawful restraint charge alleges Fred Johnson tied Kevin to a bed frame with straps.

An additional charge of criminal neglect of a person with a disability alleges Fred Johnson failed to take one of Kevin’s siblings, a minor who also had a mental disability, to a doctor for medical attention. 

Johnson was arrested without incident by investigators from Will County State’s Attorney Glasgow’s office Thursday morning. He is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Courtroom 305 of the Will County Courthouse, 14 W. Jefferson St., Joliet.

At the time of his death, Kevin was living in Fred Johnson’s Crete home with his four brothers as well as four other minors who were members of his blended family. All of the other minor children were transferred to and remain in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.

Johnson’s arrest is the culmination of a 10-month investigation by the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office into Kevin’s death. The State’s Attorney’s Office took charge of the investigation several weeks after Kevin died.

“Kevin Johnson’s death was a tragedy. We conducted an extensive and thorough investigation and meticulously reviewed every statement and piece of evidence in filing these charges,” Glasgow said. “We will continue our investigation as we move forward with the prosecution of this case.”

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.