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Man found guilty of murdering 16-month-old back in 2017

PEORIA HEIGHTS (WEEK) – Joshua A. Rutledge was found guilty of First Degree Murder in Peoria County court Thursday.

Rutledge was accused of killing his girlfriend’s 16-month-old son while he was babysitting the boy back in October 2017. The toddler died from traumatic brain injury.

According to Rutledge’s attorney, Chris McCall, Rutledge gave several stories to police about how the boy might have been injured. Those stories include the toddler possibly falling off the bed, a dresser, walking into a door frame, and falling on a toy. Ultimately, McCall said Rutledge told authorities he was not actually there when the child was injured.

McCall said Rutledge called 911 within two hours of the boy being in his care, when first responders arrived, Rutledge was told he was not performing CPR properly.

In court, McCall said one of Rutledge’s fellow prisoners testified that Rutledge confessed to killing the 16-month-old in jail, allegedly adding he never performed CPR.

McCall said their defense focused on the 45 minute window between leaving daycare and arriving at his mother’s home. McCall said their expert testimony came from a doctor who said the child’s injuries could have happened in a matter of seconds and might not be visibly noticeable right away.

Rutledge’s sentencing is set for October 25, 2019.



Molly Jirasek

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