Three months after testifying against her cousin’s accused killer, 18-year-old Treja Kelley was shot dead on the sidewalk near her home in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, not far from where her cousin had been killed.
Kelley had been the only eyewitness who testified against Deonte Davis, the man who was ultimately convicted of killing her cousin, Christopher Fields, in 2016. After Kelley’s testimony last year, a $5,000 bounty was placed on her head, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.
Then 18 and pregnant, a gunman approached Kelley and shot her five times on the sidewalk near her home. While in court last week, Cook County prosecutors said that 21-year-old Kavarian Rogers accepted $5,000 to “execute” Kelley.
According to prosecutors, Rogers told people he got $5,000 for “nailing a girl who testified against somebody.” After the shooting, he went ahead to post videos on his Facebook page in which he is seen fanning himself with $100 bills while displaying expensive shoes.
Appearing in court on first-degree murder charges, defense attorney Theodore Thomas asked that Rogers be given a bond due to the risk of getting infected with coronavirus in the Cook County jail. The judge declined, according to the Associated Press.
A friend who was with Kelley at the time she was gunned down said they were a half block from Kelley’s home when the incident occurred. The friend said Kelley was then talking with her boyfriend on the phone when suddenly someone in a hoodie appeared in the alley.
“The next thing I know he pulls a gun out,” the friend, whose name was not revealed, told the Chicago Tribune.
“We’re close, I mean five feet away,” the friend said. “I could see his face. There was no arguing. He shoots at her. … He shoots at me two times but I was already gone. I hid.”
Kelley testified last June against Davis and jurors subsequently found him guilty of six counts of murder and a single count of aggravated battery with a firearm. The 30-year-old is awaiting sentencing and remains in Cook County Jail.