The mother of a 14-year-old girl who was stabbed to death almost three years ago in their suburban Chicago home detailed in court Wednesday the haunting texts she received from her daughter's smartphone after the murder.
Brenda O'Laughlin said the first text came the day after Kelli O'Laughlin's death, asking "what Brenda?"
The text was followed by another that read "love your pic," and the most haunting of all: "she wanted me to tell you something before I killed her."
Kelli O'Laughlin was violently stabbed in her Indian Head Park home in the 6300 block of Keokuk Road on Oct. 27, 2011. John Wilson Jr. is accused of forcing entry into the O'Laughlin home and stabbing the teen with an 8-inch carving knife from her own kitchen.
Brenda O'Laughlin described how she came home to find her daughter face down in the family room. At first, she said, she saw the knife and the blood and thought it was a suicide.
Instead, prosecutors said the Lyons Township freshman had been stabbed multiple times, including a wound to the chest that pierced her aorta.
"There is a killer in the courtroom with us today," assistant state's attorney Guy Lisuzzo said, "and his name is John Wilson Jr."
Lisuzzo said Wilson used a landscaping rock wrapped in a knit cap to break into the family's home and that Wilson's DNA was found on the cap.
The prosecution alleges that Wilson killed O'Laughlin when she walked in on him during the burglary, then made his way back to his Chicago home by paying for the cab ride with coins stolen from the family's home.
Wilson's attorney, John Paul Carroll, called the case against his client a great story but cautioned jurors not to believe everything they hear.
In the opening statements, the defense suggested the death may have been a suicide disguised to look like a home invasion and that Kelli O'Laughlin may have staged the ransacked house to avoid the stigma.
Finally Kelli O'Laughlin's father, John, took the stand to describe the day his daughter was killed, saying it's still hard to process.
"You take her to school in the morning," he said, "then she's gone."