Pregnant Woman Killed While on Phone with Boyfriend Months After Testifying at Cousin's Murder Trial
Treja Kelley’s testimony in a murder trial last year made her a target, her family feared.
Last September, those fears became reality. Kelley, a pregnant 18-year-old Chicago woman, died after a gunman approached and shot her five times on the sidewalk near her home.
In court last week, Cook County prosecutors alleged that Kavarian Rogers, 21, accepted $5,000 to “execute” Kelley and keep her silent, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
On his Facebook page, Rogers posted videos after the shooting in which he displayed expensive shoes and used $100 bills to fan himself, reports the Associated Press.
He allegedly told others he’d earned the money for “nailing a girl who testified against somebody,” according to a statement prosecutors read in court, according to ABC7 Chicago.
Charged with first-degree murder, Rogers was ordered held last Thursday without bond in Cook County jail.
A friend walking with Kelley at the time of the shooting said they were a half block from Kelley’s home, with Kelley talking on her cellphone to her boyfriend, when they both observed someone in a baby blue hoodie in the alley.
“The next thing I know he pulls a gun out,” the friend told the Chicago Tribune.
“We’re close, I mean five feet away,” said the friend, whose name was not published by the outlet to protect her identity. “I could see his face. There was no arguing. He shoots at her. … He shoots at me two times but I was already gone. I hid.”
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Three months before the Sept. 15 shooting, Kelley had taken the stand as a witness to the 2016 shooting death of her 17-year-old cousin, Christopher Fields. The suspect in that shooting, Deonte Davis, was convicted of first-degree murder and is awaiting sentencing, according to the Sun-Times.
An attorney for Davis, Jennifer Blagg, told the newspaper that Kelley’s identification of her cousin’s convicted killer served as the “centerpiece” of a motion seeking a new trial for Davis.
Prosecutors did not name Davis when they revealed in court last week that they had secured recorded phone calls made from the jail of someone “discussing a female civilian witness” in his murder trial, and inquiring about how to stop her from taking the stand again, the Sun-Times reports.
Davis has not been charged in connection with Kelley’s murder. An attorney for Rogers was not immediately identified and it was not immediately clear if he has entered a plea.
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