12-year-old Alexis Stubbs lived with her mother in an apartment complex run by a non-profit organization named Chicago House and Social Service Agency.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the young girl was a bright and loved member of the small, 15-unit apartment community.
Tragically, her life was taken away on June 13, just five days after the man she knew as her stepfather had moved into her home.
In a press conference, Assistant States Attorney Guy Lisuzzo outlined the circumstances that led up to Alexis’s final moments.
John Singleton, 31, had known Alexis since she was eight years old. He was dating her mother, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In 2014, he was sent to prison for aggravated domestic battery for strangling Alexis’s mom, an incident that Alexis witnessed. He was sentenced to three years in prison and paroled on April 7, 2017.
After living in a halfway house for a month, he was released with electronic monitoring and came back to live with Alexis’s mom. The two had kept in contact while he was in prison.
But Alexis and her mother lived in community housing for people impacted by HIV and AIDS. The building had strict rules that prohibit other residents and also limits visitors to week-long stays.
Residents could face eviction if it was determined they were breaking the rules.File photo
On June 13, five days after Singleton had been in the apartment, an argument about cigarettes soon escalated into a fight about the family’s living situation. Alexis and her mother then left the apartment to go to the store.
The argument continued over the phone. Alexis’s mom told Singleton to leave the apartment.
When she returned, Alexis got out of the car to drop cigarettes off at a neighbor’s house.
As she was walking back to the van, Singleton pushed Alexis back towards the entryway of the apartment complex.Screenshot/ABC 7
He grabbed her by the hair, pushed her to the ground, and pulled a hammer out of his pocket as the young girl cowered in fear.
According to Lisuzzo, this entire interaction was caught on camera. Singleton then picked her up by the hair and lead her back up the stairs into the apartment.
Fearful for Alexis’s life, her mother called 911 from inside her vehicle. While she was on the phone with the police, she continued to receive phone calls from Singleton.
On one of the voicemail messages he left for her mother, Alexis could be heard screaming in the background:
“Please, daddy, don’t do it.”
The young girl suffered 11 stab wounds, four of which were in her back, and was possibly beaten with a hammer.
As the police sirens approached, Singleton ran away with the bloodstained hammer and knife. Alexis crawled out of the apartment.
Police told CBS News that the girl looked scared, and she struggled to breathe. Her mother came running up the stairs after the police officers and cradled her body in her arms. Then the mom ran upstairs to get towels.
Lisuzzo described the devastating scene during the press conference:
“The victim’s mother wiped blood from the victim’s face, put pressure on her wounds. The victim was scared, restless and writhing in pain, unable to catch her breath.”
Alexis was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 10:46 p.m.
Singleton continued to text the girl’s mother as he hid in a nearby construction site. The Tribune reports that some of the messages read:
See wat u [sic] made me do?
U (expletive) made me kill my only child … believe it or not u gon [sic] pay for this.
I really hope DCFS take her from u [sic] if only she survive wat [sic] I done to her.
According to ABC 7, police officers were able to trace his phone signal and found him hiding in a portable toilet. A bloodied knife that Alexis’s mother identified was found in the alleyway.
Singleton is currently facing a first-degree murder charge and is being held without bail. He’s also being charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated harm to a police officer during the interrogation.Illinois Department of Corrections
Before denying bail, Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil told Singleton:
“The rage against this 12-year-old, whether it was directed against her in some form or some pent-up anger against the mother … it was brutal.”
Singleton’s lawyers told the courts that he has a history of mental illness and depression. He had been receiving treatment in prison.
Nicole Wasielewski, a family friend who knew Alexis, wrote on the ABC 7 Facebook page:
It’s sad to hear what people are saying. It was an ex-boyfriend. And until the facts are given out please stop making assumptions. I can never get a phone call from her again saying I love you TT. If you have nothing nice to say please don’t say anything. The family/friends just need condolences and prayers.
In a brief interview with Dearly, Wasielewski said she misses the young girl immensely:
“Rest in paradise, baby. See you at the gates of Heaven.”
The Chicago community has been devastated by the news of the girl’s passing.
REST IN PEACE: 12-year-old Alexis Stubbs was beaten and stabbed to death in Chicago’s Sheridan Park neighborhood last…
People living with HIV and AIDS in the building are also nervous that attention to the case could leave their illness publicly exposed.
There was a tragedy at our FSP building last night. We ask for your prayers and support for the family and our staff at this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/ipu0DxrftC
— Chicago House (@ChicagoHouse85) June 12, 2017
For now, the Chicago House is focusing on raising money in support of the family in this time of loss.
— James Cappleman (@JamesCappleman) June 14, 2017
Sharonda Clay, an education coordinator at Chicago House, talked to the Chicago Sun-Times about Alexis:
“Even when things were chaotic for her, she always found the positive and was looking for the good in other people. The way Alexis reacted to things made her so strong. She was even strong in that moment [before her death].”
Alexis is being remembered by friends and family as loving middle school student who enjoyed giving hugs and was always compassionate towards other people.