Trial Begins in Murder of Indian Head Park Teen

Police say Kelli O'Laughlin, 14, was violently stabbed when she walked in on a burglary in progress at her home in 2011

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    9/2/2014: Police say Kelli O'Laughlin, 14, was violently stabbed by John Wilson when she walked in on a burglary in progress at her home in 2011. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciechowski reports. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014)

    Jury selection begins Tuesday in the murder trial of a man charged with violently stabbing a 14-year-old girl after she found him robbing her southwest suburban home.

    John Wilson is accused of stabbing Kelli O'Laughlin in her Indian Head Park home in the 6300 block of Keokuk Road in 2011. The Chicago man, whose attorney said battled with mental illness for years, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and residential burglary charges after he was arrested following a manhunt after the murder.

    A psychiatric evaluation was ordered in 2012, and later that year, Judge John Hynes ruled Wilson was fit to stand trial.

    Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said Wilson allegedly forced entry into the O'Laughlin home with a rock placed into a knit cap. The cap was left behind with blood on it and found by police, Alvarez said.

    How Cops Caught a Suspected Killer

    [CHI] How Cops Caught a Suspected Killer
    Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart takes NBC Chicago through the investigative steps used to catch John Wilson Jr. (Published Friday, Nov. 4, 2011)

    In detailing the charges against Wilson, Alvarez said he allegedly stabbed O'Laughlin multiple times with an 8-inch carving knife from her own kitchen. The girl was found by her mother stabbed in the back, neck and chest, Alvarez said.

    The house was found ransacked, and a bowl of coins, O'Laughlin's cell phone and an iPod Touch were stolen.

    The intial investigation revealed O'Laughlin's cell phone was used to send text messages of "taunting and disturbing nature" to her family within hours of the murder. Wilson was apprehended on Chicago's South Side, Alvarez confirmed.

    "There are really no words to describe how horrific this is," Alvarez said at the time.

    Accused Killer Slept on Trash-Strewn Floor

    [CHI] Accused Killer Slept on Trash-Strewn Floor
    John Wilson, a 38-year-old parolee, is charged with stabbing death of 14-year-old Kelli O'Laughlin. (Published Friday, Nov. 4, 2011)

    Alvarez said Wilson hailed a cab and hitched a ride to the Orange Line stop at Midway International Airport after O'Laughlin's death. He paid with various coins stolen from the victim's home, she said.

    Records show Wilson had six previous convictions, including aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated battery of a peace officer with a firearm, selling a stolen vehicle and controlled substance charges. He was on parole from the Pontiac Correctional Facility where he served eight years of an 11-year sentence for robbery of a school or place of worship when the girl was stabbed.

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