Emotions and tensions can run high when it comes to a fight between family members. Domestic violence against a spouse, child abuse, and intense fights between siblings may sometimes lead to violent crimes or the removal of a person from the family home. Unfortunately, sometimes a fight can escalate so quickly and violently that it results in the death of a family member. Such was the case this week for a Sauk Village, Illinois, family.

ABClocal.go.com reports that on September 7, 31-year-old Robin Erwin and her 17-year-old son Diontae Erwin were allegedly arguing over ice cream. At some point, the argument escalated and Dioante Erwin was stabbed in his chest, below the clavicle, which caused the knife to puncture his heart. Ms. Erwin called 911 and told the dispatcher that Diontae had walked into the knife. However, upon investigation, the Lake County Medical Examiner’s office found that Ms. Erwin’s story was not plausible, and that Diontae’s death was caused by a stab wound to his chest. From then on, police were investigating Diontae’s death as a homicide.

According to the Huffington Post, the Erwin’s neighbors stated that there had been several disturbances at the Erwin home, and that they had only moved in about 18 months prior to Diontae’s death. Ms. Erwin was ultimately charged with first-degree murder for the death of her son. A 21-year-old man was also arrested in the Erwin home on a parole violation for an unlawful use of a weapon conviction. Law enforcement also seized 130 grams of marijuana during the arrests.

A similar incident occurred earlier this summer in June in River Grove, Illinois. According to another ABClocal.go.com report, 14-year-old Alex Spourdalakis was killed by his mother, Dorothy Spourdalakis, and his godmother, Jolanta Agatha Skrodzka, who had been taking care of him around the clock. The two allegedly planned Alex’s murder for a week, and then finally Ms. Spourdalakis stabbed him in the chest four times, and slit his wrist.  Both women had taken pills and had written a letter describing the difficulties of taking care of a severely autistic teen. They were found unconscious next to Alex, but alive. Both women confessed to authorities and were charged with first-degree murder. The women had also killed the family cat, fearing that it would be placed in a shelter.

The Law in Illinois

First-degree murder is a very serious charge under Illinois law. In some aggravated cases, a defendant may be eligible for the death penalty if convicted of a first-degree murder charge, or a prison term of natural life. If you have been convicted of violating Illinois laws, or have been charged with murder, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced criminal law attorney. An experienced attorney can help you understand the charges against you, including some unforeseen consequences, and can help defend your case in court. Additionally, a criminal defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor for the best outcome of your case. Call the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.