Sisters, 18 and 21, accused of attacking store security guard, stabbing him 27 times after they refused to wear face masks

William Lee, Chicago Tribune
·2 min read

CHICAGO — A Cook County judge on Tuesday denied bail for two Lawndale sisters accused of attacking a store security guard and stabbing him 27 times with a small knife after he asked them to wear face masks and use hand sanitizer.

Neither Jessica Hill, 21 nor her sister Jayla, 18 — a recent career academy graduate — had a criminal history before the Sunday evening attack at the store in the Homan Square neighborhood, prosecutors told a judge during a bail hearing broadcast on YouTube.

Each sister is charged with attempted first-degree murder and was ordered held by Judge Mary C. Marubio, who cited eyewitness statements, surveillance cameras that captured video and audio from the confrontation, as well as the “randomness” of the violent attack.

The sisters entered the store around 6 p.m., around closing, but refused to wear a face mask or use hand sanitizer, as many businesses require their patrons to do during the COVID-19 pandemic, prosecutors said in court.

During a quarrel between the 6-foot-5, 270-pound security guard and the sisters, both were asked to leave, but they refused and began hitting the man, striking him with a garbage can, authorities said. While Jayla Hill held the guard’s hair, her older sister pulled a small knife that was concealed within a comb and stabbed the man 27 times about the head and torso, prosecutors told the judge.

The guard was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated for 27 puncture wounds to the head, neck and chest that did not require surgery or stitches, authorities said.

The women’s court-appointed attorney argued that the stabbing was self-defense and that her clients were being overcharged, adding that both women suffered from bipolar disorder. Prosecutors responded that the guard never approached either attacker beforehand.

Both women are expected to return to court next week.

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