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Oak Lawn woman jailed on charges of fatally stabbing teenager in downtown Chicago

An 18-year-old woman has been ordered jailed ahead of trial on charges of fatally stabbing another teenager in a downtown attack earlier this week, the Sun-Times is reporting.

Egypt Otis faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of 16-year-old Heaven Taylor, after Otis and a large group she was with allegedly goaded Taylor into a fight late Tuesday in the first block of West Van Buren Street, prosecutors said during a court hearing Saturday.

Taylor and several friends took the Red Line into the Loop and, en route to a restaurant, they walked past Otis, who was with a group of 15 to 20 people hanging around outside the Metropolitan Correctional Center, prosecutors told Judge Susana Ortiz.

When Taylor’s group passed by again, members of the larger group yelled that they wanted to fight one of the 16-year-old’s friends, according to prosecutors, who said Taylor then approached Otis while others urged them to fight.

Video taken by someone at the scene showed them each throw a few punches at each other, before Taylor stepped back and Otis pulled out an object and lunged, prosecutors said.

The two grappled for a moment before Taylor stumbled down Van Buren and collapsed, prosecutors said.

Police officers nearby were flagged down while responding to separate call. They found Taylor lying in the street with three stab wounds, including a 2-inch gash to the chest that pierced her heart, according to prosecutors.

Officers applied a chest seal bandage and she was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she died early Wednesday.

Otis ran away, later jumping the turnstiles at a Blue Line station, putting on several new items of clothes and getting on a train, according to prosecutors, who added that she had cuts on her hand “as if” she had been handling a blade. Witnesses also allegedly identified her by name.

Otis’ public defender said there “could be” an angle of self defense, though Judge Ortiz noted that Taylor was unarmed and nearly a foot shorter than Otis.

The Oak Lawn resident surrendered to police Wednesday evening. She has pending juvenile court cases for aggravated battery and robbery charges.

Ortiz highlighted Otis’ alleged attempts to “somewhat conceal her identity” among the reasons to keep the 18-year-old behind bars. Ortiz also said that while there was prior “animosity” between the groups, Taylor’s attempt to step back signaled an attempt to de-escalate the situation before Otis allegedly pulled a weapon.

“It appeared to be Ms. Otis and the people she was with who were introducing weapons and lethal force that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old,” Ortiz said. “She’s demonstrated she cannot comply with the terms and conditions of pretrial release on these juvenile adjudications.”

Taylor, a junior at the South Side UCAN Academy and a mother of a 2-year-old boy, is the second child her mother, Chalesia Clayton, has lost to violence in the past year. Clayton was also injured in a shooting at a South Side McDonald’s that killed her 29-year-old son.

Otis’ next court date for the murder charge is Oct. 10, though she will appear in court again for the juvenile charges Oct. 13.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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