Mother, older brother charged with 6-year-old’s death could face life sentence

Damari Perry, 6, was found dead Jan. 8 near an abandoned house in Gary, Indiana after being falsely reported missing days earlier by his mother and his sibling.

SHARE Mother, older brother charged with 6-year-old’s death could face life sentence
Damari Perry

Damari Perry

North Chicago police

Lake County prosecutors announced they may seek a life sentence for a mother and older brother charged with the “‘brutal and heinous” murder of 6-year-old Damari Perry last month.

Perry’s mother, Jannie Perry, and brother Jeremiah Perry, 20, have both been indicted on eight counts of murder, aggravated battery of a child, dismembering a human body and concealment of a homicidal death, among other charges, Lake County, Illinois prosecutors said.

A grand jury found evidence the crime was “exceptionally brutal and heinous,” meaning prosecutors can seek life sentences on the murder charges for both mother and brother, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Damari, 6, was found dead Jan. 8 near an abandoned house in Gary, Indiana, after being falsely reported missing days earlier by his mother and his sibling.

On Dec. 30, family members forced Damari into a cold shower as punishment, prosecutors alleged during Jeremiah’s bond hearing in January. Damari started vomiting and became unresponsive, prosecutors said.

After he died, the family decided to discard his body in an abandoned building in Gary.

Authorities later learned the family also burned Damari’s remains after his death. Prosecutors may seek up to 60 years for the dismembering charge alone.

“As prosecutors considered the crime scene where Damari died, it became clear that this was a calculated plan against a small child,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehartsaid in a statement Wednesday. “The defendants’ stunning failure to seek medical attention demonstrates their intent to end Damari’s life.”

Both Damari’s mother and brother are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 7 for arraignment.

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