Parents, Cousin Charged With Killing 3-Year-Old

CHICAGO (STMW) — After determining that her viciously abused and malnourished 3-year-old second cousin was dead, a West Ridge woman allegedly went out, bought some marijuana and then smoked it with the child’s parents near the toddler’s battered corpse.

Tylesha Griffin, 22, and Donnell Coakley Sr., 24, allegedly tried to warm their son’s body after Coakley tried to resuscitate Donnell Coakley Jr. Friday night.

But Griffin didn’t call 911 until hours later well after the little boy took his last breath, Cook County prosecutors said.

The couple was charged in Donnell Jr.’s murder, as was 25-year-old Dominique Lott, who allegedly admitted to whipping the child with her hand, belt and an electrical cord.

Lott, who had been living with Griffin and Coakley in the 6500 block of North Seeley, told police she’d also put her foot down on the child when hitting him and beat him for not knowing his numbers or the alphabet, Assistant State’s Attorney Alexandra Molesky said.

Lott, who had bought pot for the couple to smoke before the authorities were called, said Griffin would often ask her to beat Donnell Jr., Molesky said.

Lott allegedly watched Griffin beat Donnell Jr. two to three times a day and noticed that he stopped eating a week before his death, Molesky said.

Donnell Jr. had over 100 injuries on his back, buttocks, arm, legs, chest, lips and head.

His front tooth was chipped and he had injuries on his wrist consistent with being bound, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Portions of the boy’s lower body exhibited “trauma and his left arm had a gaping wound with exposed rotting muscle and skin, Molesky said.

Had he been alive, that arm would likely be amputated, Molesky said.

Donnell Jr. had patches of hair missing on his head, bruising on the tips of his fingers and a missing fingernail, Molesky said.

On Griffin’s cellphone officers allegedly found a picture of a naked Donnell Jr. standing in his living room with injuries on his legs and back.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigated allegations of neglect by the boy’s mother and father, spokesman Karen Hawkins said. Donnell’s two siblings have been taken into protective custody under a DCFS-monitored safety plan.

The agency had previous contact with the mother in 2011, also for allegations of neglect.

Lott also previously hit Donnell Jr.’s 4-year-old sibling with a stick and belt for misbehaving, Molesky said.

Griffin was ordered held without bond on Monday.

On Wednesday, Judge Donald Panarese Jr. also ordered Lott held without bond.

Coakley was held in lieu of $500,000 bail earlier this week.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Watch & Listen LIVE