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Man with pending child abuse case now faces murder charge in infant son’s death

In addition to the dead infant, first-responders also found three other malnourished and abused children — between 2 and 5 years old — at the Lawndale home.

The Leighton Criminal Courthouse
William Greer and Mariah Greer were charged in March with abusing three of their surviving malnourished children when their youngest son’s lifeless body was found in an apartment in the 500 block of South California Avenue. Since that time, it was determined that Solomon Greer’s death was a homicide due to child abuse, Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday.
Sun-Times file photo

A Lawndale man has been charged with murdering his 5-month-old son nearly seven months after he allegedly admitted to police that he hit the infant who was discovered unresponsive at the family’s apartment.

William Greer and his wife, Mariah Greer, were charged in March with abusing three of their surviving malnourished children when their youngest son’s lifeless body was found by first-responders in the 500 block of South California Avenue.

Authorities were waiting on the results of additional testing by the Cook County medical examiner’s office before filing murder charges in Solomon Greer’s death. Since that time, it was determined that Solomon’s death was a homicide due to child abuse, prosecutors said Tuesday.

William Greer had gone to the Harrison District police station on March 14 and allegedly told police officers there that the boy died after he struck him “a little harder than he should have.”

Once at the apartment, first-responders also found Solomon’s siblings — between 2 and 5 years old — in poor physical condition, prosecutors said.

“This was not something accidental, what these kids went through,” Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

William Greer
William Greer
Cook County sheriff’s office

William Greer, 27, was home alone with the children while his wife was at work on March 13, prosecutors said. When the Solomon began to cry, his father brought him to a bedroom and began to “forcibly pat” him on the back, Murphy said.

When the boy stopped breathing, William Greer listened for a heart beat, and after finding none, he called his wife, who left work and came home, prosecutors said.

Mariah Greer
Mariah Greer
Cook County sheriff’s office

Mariah Greer, 26, came home to the find Solomon on a pillow on the bed, at which time her husband allegedly told her that “he had lost his mind and was possessed.”

Neither parent called 911. Instead, Mariah Greer went out to run errands, including making stops at a post office and a Target, prosecutors said.

William Greer allegedly told authorities he considered calling for help, but believed it was already too late.

The couple made plans to go to Arkansas and turn themselves in there, but a relative who came to the home the following morning convinced them to talk to Chicago police, prosecutors said.

When William Greer went to the police station, he made several admissions to striking the boy, including during a video-taped interview with detectives, prosecutors said.

William Greer and Mariah Greer had been ordered held on $1 million and $750,000 bail, respectively, in March. The couple pleaded not guilty to child abuse charges and were still in custody at Cook County Jail, according to court records.

Judge David Navarro Tuesday ordered William Greer held without bail on the new murder charge.

William Greer had been working as a forklift operator prior to his arrest, an assistant public defender said.

William Greer is expected back in court on Oct. 20.

His wife is expected back in court on Oct. 26.