CHICAGO — A 20-year-old woman was charged with murder and attempted murder in an apparent murder-suicide attempt that killed her two babies and injured her grandfather in South Shore, police said Saturday.
Aleah Newell, 20, was charged with scalding her 7-month-old son Ameer Newell in a tub and stabbing him to death. She’s also accused of throwing her 2-year-old son Johntavis Newell out of a window, killing him, and stabbing her 70-year-old grandfather.
The attacks happened early Thursday at an apartment building in the 7200 block of South South Shore Drive, according to police.
Newell, of the 8800 block of South Parnell Avenue, jumped out of an 11th floor window in the building and survived.
At 1:48 a.m. Thursday, officers were called to the South Shore apartment building for a report of a person down, police said. They found a woman on the ground with an infant.
A security guard told officers to check an 11th floor apartment at the building. Officers got inside and found a 2-year-old boy unresponsive in a bath tub, police said. They also found a 70-year-old man who had lacerations on his face and body.
The man told officers his daughter stabbed him and then jumped from the 11th floor while carrying her 1-year-old son, police said.
The two children were taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where they were pronounced dead, police said. The man and Newell were taken to University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition.
Newell was taken into custody at about 6 a.m. Thursday at the hospital.
Zera Newell, Aleah Newell’s mother, told the Sun-Times her daughter took the boys to a women’s shelter earlier in the week, asking the staff to take the boys. She said her daughter had previously shown signs of depression.
“I thought she was over that,” Zera Newell said. “…I didn’t know that, deep inside, she was hurting.”
Newell was denied bail at a hearing Saturday, according to the Sun-Times. She did not appear at the hearing as she is still being treated at the hospital, the Sun-Times reported.
The children’s deaths appear to be the first homicides of 2020.
Jason Teriq, who lives in the building, said he and his girlfriend woke up about 1:30 a.m. when they heard a noise outside. They weren’t sure what it was and went back to sleep until they heard what sounded like crying.
“We heard security come outside, saying like, ‘Oh my God, someone’s down here,’” Teriq said.
Outside, people said the woman’s arms and legs appeared to be broken and her baby was not breathing, Teriq said. An ambulance came quickly.
“I think it’s really random, something that really shouldn’t happen,” Teriq said. “You don’t want to hear stuff like this going on. I’m just kinda hurt.”
No additional information was immediately available.