Arthur Carpenter charged with killing infant son

Arthur Carpenter / Photo from Chicago Police
Arthur Carpenter / Photo from Chicago Police

Homicide Watch Chicago Editor

A West Englewood man was ordered held on $500,000 bond Friday for allegedly killing his 28-day-old son on Halloween.

Arthur Carpenter, 22, of the 7300 block of South Honore Street, was charged with one count of first-degree murder for allegedly killing his son, Jahki Carpenter, authorities said.

Carpenter appeared before Judge Israel Desierto on Friday dressed in a Chicago Bears jersey, black jacket, dark pants and black shoes.

Assistant State’s Attorney Maura White said the infant was “acting normal and showed no signs of any injury” when his mother went to school about 8 a.m. Oct. 31 and left the infant in Carpenter’s care in the 100 block of East 111th Street.

The mother returned about 11 a.m., and Carpenter said the infant “had been fussy and crying the whole time,” White said. Both parents then tried to quiet the baby, she said.

The mother noticed the infant spit up blood twice, and later found bruising and scratching on his face, White said. Jahki’s mother confronted Carpenter, and then took the infant to Advocate Trinity Hospital without him, authorities said.

Doctors determined the infant was in respiratory distress and transferred him to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital with an esophageal tear, White said. Doctors determined the tear was about 10 centimeters from the infant’s mouth — about the length of an adult finger, prosecutors said.

The esophageal injury caused a bacterial infection and “introduced air into areas where it would not normally be” and would be “extremely painful” for the infant, White said.

Jahki died at 11:50 a.m. Nov. 11 at Comer Children’s Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The facial bruising indicated child abuse, White said. An autopsy confirmed Jahki died from child abuse and the death was ruled a homicide, authorities said.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services initially said it was investigating allegations of neglect against the boy’s father, agency spokeswoman Karen Hawkins said. DCFS had no prior reports involving the family.

A sibling in the home was placed under the supervision of a relative, Hawkins said.

Carpenter was arrested Dec. 4 and admitted to having sole care, custody and control of the infant between 8 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Oct. 31, White said. Carpenter’s public defender noted he did not admit to causing any harm.

He has two previous possession of a controlled substance convictions, and was given concurrent boot camp sentences, according to court documents.

Carpenter attended Paul Robeson High School and had been working fulltime at McDonald’s, his public defender said.

Carpenter will be back in court Dec. 24.

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