WAUKEGAN, IL–A Waukegan man who allegedly beat a four year old to death pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. 19 year old Johnathan Fair is charged with first degree intentional homicide in the death of 4 year old Skylar Mendez, his girlfriend’s daughter. Prosecutors allege that Fair killed the girl after she spilled juice on his X-Box on the night of December 13th. The girl later died at a Chicago hospital when doctors couldn’t reduce the swelling of her brain. According to police reports, Fair initially told investigators that the girl fell and hit her head but that he allegedly later told authorities that he “shook” the girl really hard. If convicted, Fair could spend life in prison. A status hearing in the case is set for next month; the trial is scheduled to get underway in April.

WAUKEGAN, IL–The Lake County man accused of keeping his daughter in squalor was denied bail. 48 year old Randy Swopes is charged with unlawful constraint and entered a “mute” plea to the charges against him. That amounts to a not guilty plea by the defendant. Bail was set at 750-thousand dollars. Swopes is acting as his own attorney and argued that being in jail hinders his ability to defend himself. He competency has also been called into question in the case and underwent a mental evaluation before charges were filed. A status hearing in the case is set for the end of the month. Swopes’ wife, Katherine also faces similar charges and the two have been ordered to have no contact with each other until the legal proceedings are resolved.

(AP)–Funeral services will be held for an Illinois State Police trooper who was struck and killed by a vehicle as he responded to a crash. Trooper Christopher Lambert was heading home on Interstate 294 last Saturday when he stopped and got out of his squad car to respond to a three-vehicle crash near Northbrook. A car then struck him. Services for the 34-year-old Army veteran are scheduled for Friday at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington. In a statement, Lambert’s family said: “He left this world in the way in which he lived: putting the well-being and happiness of those around him before his own.”