$5M bail for caregiver charged with murder of boy in his care

Relates to:
Date: 2009-05-16
Source: WBBM 780

JOLIET-- Bail was set at $5 million for Fred D. Johnson II, charged with beating to death a mentally disabled 12-year-old he cared for.

JohnsonI, 43, of Beckwith Lane in Crete, also is charged with aggravated battery of a child and unlawful restraint in connection with the beating death of Kevin Johnson, authorities said.

Kevin died July 20 at Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn, two days after he was found unresponsive at the Beckwith Lane home.

Fred Johnson is accused of hitting the young boy's head and body between July 15 and July 18 and of tying Kevin to a bed frame with straps, authorities said.

Kevin ended in the care of Fred Johnson and his wife, Barbara, after Kevin's adoptive parents died. Barbara Johnson is the daughter of the elderly adoptive couple, Lester and Ola Mae Johnson.

Barbara and Fred also cared for eight other children, four of whom are their biological children. The other four were Kevin's biological siblings who also had been adopted by Barbara Johnson's parents.

All the children now are in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, authorities said.

At the time of Kevin's death, DCFS was investigating allegations that Kevin was being abused by an adult in the home. They'd begun that investigation in April -- months before Kevin was beaten to death.

In 2007, the agency had substantiated that a sibling was abusing Kevin.

Fred Johnson also has been charged with criminal neglect of a person with a disability for failing to take one of Kevin's siblings, a minor who also had a mental disability, to a doctor for medical attention, authorities said.

No family showed up at his bond hearing at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet.

He's next scheduled in court June 12.

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