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Mom: Accused teen loved baby

JB. Karlson

Jon B. Karlson

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Updated: December 16, 2012 10:38PM



Jonathan Karlson was planning on a future with his girlfriend, raising her daughter as his own.

The teen stood by his 18-year-old girlfriend, who he met at Lockport East High School when she was in her second trimester, throughout her pregnancy. He went to all her doctor appointments. He was there the day her baby was born.

He was preparing to start masonry and security job training to build a life for what he envisioned as his young family.

Now Karlson, 17, is facing 20 to 60 years in prison on a murder charge, accused of shaking the infant he reportedly loved like his own daughter so hard the injuries killed her.

“All I can say is this is all wrong. It’s all wrong,” said Karlson’s mother outside the courtroom where Karlson appeared Friday afternoon. She did not want her name published.

“It’s not the brutal slaying of a child that (the media) is portraying,” she said. “Anyone that knows Jon ... they know that he’s not capable of this. It’s an accident, no matter what took place. He’d never hurt (the baby).”

Karlson, of 1120 S. Hamilton, Lockport, was initially charged with aggravated battery of a child Dec. 7. The charge was changed to murder late Thursday after the infant died from her injuries.

Karlson was baby sitting Aliyah Gedminas on Dec. 6 in the 15500 block of South Gougar Road in Homer Glen while her mother was at work, police said.

That evening, Karlson called the baby’s mother and said Aliyah “did not look right,” so she left work and came home to take her to the hospital.

Karlson and the baby were in the back seat while her mother drove. On the way, the baby stopped breathing and the couple called 911.

A Lockport Township Fire District ambulance met them at the intersection of Bruce and Gougar roads, and firefighters performed CPR and rushed the girl to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. She was transferred Thursday night to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

According to reports, the child suffered abuse, head trauma and subdural hemorrhaging and was breathing on a ventilator.

Karlson wanted to stay by the baby’s side at the hospital, unable to eat or sleep, his mother said.

“It’s babies taking care of the baby,” Karlson’s mother said, wiping away tears. “What they needed was for somebody to understand that situation.

“(The baby’s mother) is a good girl who’s caring and loving and just needed to be given a chance,” Karlson’s mother said. “(Jon) is a good kid. He’s never been in trouble before.“

Sheriff’s police arrested Karlson the next night for aggravated battery.

Karlson appeared in court Friday afternoon to face the murder charge filed late Thursday. His bond was set at $2 million.

Karlson’s mother said her son and the baby’s mother would have given their lives to save the baby.

“He did what 98 percent of grown men wouldn’t even attempt to do,” she said, explaining how he was committed to his girlfriend and to being a father to her baby. “He was a better man than most. And he still is.”

Karlson is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 2.



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