Former correctional officer charged with helping convicted killer escape Kankakee jail

SHARE Former correctional officer charged with helping convicted killer escape Kankakee jail
SHARE Former correctional officer charged with helping convicted killer escape Kankakee jail

A former correctional officer has been charged with helping her nephew, convicted murderer Kamron Taylor, escape from a Kankakee County detention center, authorities said Saturday.

Tonya D. Grant, 50, is charged with obstructing justice and aiding in escape and is being held on $150,000 bail, according to the Kankakee County sheriff’s office.

Grant — a former Kankakee County correctional officer — is Taylor’s aunt, authorities said, and passed along information that “substantially assisted him in his escape.”

Taylor, 23, was arrested Friday night after being on the run since about 3 a.m. Wednesday, when sheriff’s officials say the5-foot-9, 170-pound inmate overpowered a correctional officer at the Jerome Combs Detention Center, beat him unconscious, took the officer’s keys and uniform and drove off in the officer’s Chevrolet Equinox sport-utility vehicle.

Around 9 p.m. Friday, police officers responding to a call of a suspicious person in the 9200 block of South Harper on Chicago’s South Side found Taylor, who ran but was soon caught, armed with a loaded .38-caliber revolver and carrying false identification in the name of Tryeon Smith, 23, of Joliet.

But his tattoos matched those of the escaped killer from Kankakee, and fingerprints confirmed that.

Taylor now faces new felony weapons charges including possession of a firearm by a felon and aggravated use of a weapon without a concealed carry license.

Kamron T. Taylor yelled at the gallery when he was convicted of murder in February. He had to be removed from the courtroom. | Mike Voss/The Daily Journal; distributed by the Associated Press

Kamron T. Taylor yelled at the gallery when he was convicted of murder in February. He had to be removed from the courtroom. | Mike Voss/The Daily Journal; distributed by the Associated Press

Taylor was awaiting sentencing after being found guilty in February of killing 21-year-old Nelson Williams Jr. in June 2013. Williams was shot in the head on the front porch of his home in Kankakee during a scuffle with a man demanding money. A 911 call that recorded the single gunshot that killed Williams was played for jurors at Taylor’s trial.

Williams’ fiancee, Rebecca Hoover, witnessed the shooting and provided dramatic testimony, telling the court she saw a man put him in a headlock and shoot him.

Taylor faces a sentence of 45 years to life in prison in Williams’ killing.

Kamron Taylor | Kankakee County sheriff’s office mug shot

Kamron Taylor | Kankakee County sheriff’s office mug shot

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