A 31-year-old Illinois woman was convicted Wednesday of murdering an 11-year-old child by stabbing the victim repeatedly and leaving her to bleed out in a bathtub while the young girl’s father was at work in the winter of 2020.
Court records reviewed by Law&Crime show that Julia Elaine Bevely’s jury trial began on Feb. 6 and ended with her conviction on three counts of first-degree murder in Jade Marie Beasley’s death.
Prosecutors in Williamson County said that the murder took place on Dec. 5, 2020, in a Marion-area home that Bevely shared with the victim’s father. Bevely was the one who called 911 to report Beasley’s death. She allegedly claimed to find Jade dead at the home after seeing an unknown man wearing all black clothing leaving the residence, said a WPSD report.
Investigators determined that Bevely fabricated that story and a jury of her peers agreed with that assessment, determining she was the perpetrator. It took under two hours of deliberations for the jury to reach its verdict, WSIL reported.
Investigators’ testimony at trial established that Bevely called 911 and claimed to find Jade Beasley dead in a bathtub, the Southern Illinoisan reported. The water was running.
A Williamson County Sheriff’s Office veteran who was training a deputy on the day of the murder reportedly testified he’d never seen anything like the scene where the victim was killed.
“I have never seen that much blood in my 13-year career,” Patrol Sgt. Aaron Anderson reportedly said.
A search of Julia Bevely’s name in the state court database indicates that Jade Beasley’s father commenced a civil family law case against the defendant under the state’s Parentage Act. The plaintiff Gregory Michael Beasley filed a Petition to Establish Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time on Jan. 13, 2021, just over a month after his daughter’s death.
Law&Crime reached out to an attorney listed as Bevely’s counsel in the case to seek additional information about the pending matter. Notably, Bevely reportedly gave birth to a child while in jail.
As recently as Jan. 5, 2023, a judge took note of the fact Bevely was headed for trial in February, amounting in the court’s view to “extraordinary circumstances warranting” to delay the civil case beyond the “18 months from the date of filing.” The motion to continue was granted over objection, court records say. A status hearing was set to take place 45 to 60 days after the order was issued. The next scheduled hearing is set for March 27.
Sentencing in the murder case is currently scheduled for June 2, court records show.
An obituary described Jade Beasley as “funny, smart, and sassy.” The sixth-grader “liked playing outside and swimming,” and “enjoyed art, drawing, painting, and playing video games,” like Minecraft.
“Jade loved her friends, adored her pets, and cherished her siblings,” the obit said, noting Jade is survived by three sisters and a brother.
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