Imagine raising a child for eight years, only to die at his hands. SMH.
With their mother unable to care for them, the four grandchildren of Chicago police Officer Hester Scott came to live with her about eight years ago, family members said.
But she struggled to control the erratic behavior of her teenage grandson, Keshawn Perkins, who has bipolar disorder and has occasionally been hospitalized for mental health treatment, family members said.
“She loved him,” said Scott’s sister, Marlene Scott-Pittman. “She thought she could fix it.”
Wide-eyed and swimming in his oversized jail outfit, Perkins listened during his bond hearing Sunday as prosecutors told a judge the 15-year-old beat and stabbed his 55-year-old grandmother to death in their South Side home Friday after she confronted him about skipping school. He wrapped her body in a blanket, and a witness saw him dragging an object through the backyard, prosecutors said. He admitted to the killing, authorities said.
Cook County Judge James Brown ordered him held without bail. He has been charged as an adult with armed robbery and murder.
On Friday, Perkins cut class and was asleep in front of the television when Scott woke him, prosecutors said. When she started shouting at him, authorities said, he bashed her over the head with a lamp until she was quiet. He then stabbed her repeatedly, slashing major veins in her throat, prosecutors said.
After wrapping her in a blanket, he dragged her into a catch basin in the backyard, authorities said. He took police to the garbage can in which he stuffed his bloody clothes, and two bloody kitchen knives were found in the home, prosecutors said.
He was seen fleeing the house with a purse, prosecutors said, before he was arrested at 1:45 p.m. Friday.
Perkins faces a mandatory minimum life sentence because the victim was a police officer, prosecutors said.
Here’s a little more info on the victim:
Scott grew up in the Altgeld Gardens housing complex, and she decided to join the force 25 years ago after her sister alerted her to upcoming officer testing. Policing was perfect for Scott, a studious, “no-nonsense” woman whose toughness was mixed with a capacity for helping people, Scott-Pittman said.
When Scott’s daughter’s problems kept her from managing her three girls and a boy in Michigan, the officer stepped in because “she knew they needed her,” Scott-Pittman said. It would be the start of a difficult relationship with Perkins.
Sources said Scott had been stripped of her police powers and reassigned to the 311 call center. Her family said this happened after Perkins told police his grandmother had abused him.
Scott’s friends and family members insisted that she did not abuse him and would not hurt any of her grandchildren. Her family said she was not convicted, though court records on the incident were not available Sunday.
She was devastated by the loss of her police powers, said her friend and colleague, Officer Willia Robinson.
“He lied on her. He didn’t tell the truth and the system tends to listen to children,” Robinson said.
Scott reached out to police and state authorities for help with the boy, her family said, but she met with little success.
“He had his times when he was a good kid,” said Scott’s adult son, Kevin. “But he would take two steps forward, five steps backward.”
The Independent Police Review Authority and the Department of Children and Family Services declined to comment.
Friction between Perkins and his grandmother stemmed from his desire to live with his father, family members said. Friends and family said they felt the boy, a student at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, posed a danger to his grandmother.
“I told her … she needed to get him out of the house,” Robinson said. “He was just dangerous.”
Family members have been left to try to reconcile their grief and their fury.
Scott-Pittman saw him at the police station, and she prayed with him, she said. He needs mental help, she said, not adult incarceration.
“They should not put him in prison without considering that he was not served properly from the beginning of his life,” she said.
Asked how Scott would have wanted the boy handled in the justice system, her son, Kevin, pulled his hood over his head, leaned on an aunt’s shoulder and cried.
“She never gave up on him,” said her niece, Tarinia Johnson. “And she would not want us to.”
Damn. He’s likely to spend the rest of his life in jail. Those mandatory minimums are almost impossible to get around, unless they change the charges to something other than murder of a police officer.
This is a shame. Hester Scott sounds like an incredible giving woman, now all her children and grandchildren who depended on her are left without her.
What do you think is the appropriate punishment for Keshawn’s crime?
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family