Illinois woman charged with first-degree murder after 4-year-old suffers cardiac arrest


Photo: East Peoria Police Department

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The East Peoria Police Department has arrested a woman in connection to the death of four-year-old Tate Thurman.

East Peoria Sgt. Brian Despines said 33-year-old Lesli A. Jett was taken into custody during a traffic stop in Creve Coeur just after 4:34 p.m. Wednesday. The Tazewell County Jail confirmed Jett is being charged with first-degree murder and will appear in court Thursday at 1:15 p.m.

An obituary was posted online, but the Gary Deiters Funeral Home confirmed it has since been removed at the request of the family. According to the now-deleted obituary, Jett was Thurman’s step-mother.

Tuesday night, Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said the boy was declared brain dead last Thursday at 9:05 p.m.

On Feb. 18, crews were called to the 100 block of Jefferson Court in East Peoria at approximately 9:10 a.m.for a report of a child in cardiac arrest. Upon arrival, emergency crews contacted the police “due to the nature of the injuries observed” at the scene.

Despines said there will be a press conference Thursday morning.

Thurman died at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. His funeral services will be private and memorials in his honor can be sent to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois.


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