UPDATE: Woman Sentenced in 2011 Death of 3-Year-Old

By: WIFR Newsroom
By: WIFR Newsroom

UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The Rockford mom accused of beating her 3-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn Head to death in 2011, has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Melanie Grant took a plea deal in August, pleading guilty to aggravated battery and child endangerment. As part of the deal, she testified in trial against her boyfriend Duran Johnson who was found guilty of First Degree Murder this week.


UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The mother of a 3-year-old child beaten to death in 2011 will be going to prison.

A tearful Melanie Grant changed her plea to guilty this afternoon, admitting to beating her little girl and endangering her life, avoiding a murder sentence.

Grant’s daughter, 3-year-old Kaitlyn Head died in March of 2011 at Grant’s home in the 600 block of 11th Street from being abused over a three month period. Today, prosecutors said Grant told police the little girl fell down the stairs. Grant now admits Head was beaten with a belt and was forced to exercise for extended periods of time as a form of punishment.

As part of the plea deal, Grant’s lawyers and prosecutors agreed to a 22-year sentence. Judge Gary Pumilia said he will impose that sentence, which will come at a later date.

Grant’s boyfriend, Duran Johnson is also charged with Head’s death. His trial starts November 4th. The mother will likely testify against him at his trial.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A three-year-old girl, Kaitlyn T. Head, has been declared dead on the scene at 614 11th St. in Rockford.

Police say they arrived at the scene around 8 a.m. and found the girl unresponsive.

After further investigation Kaitlyn's mother, 29-year-old Melanie Grant and her boyfriend 37-year-old Duran Johnson, were charged with first degree murder.

Preliminary results from Kaitlyn's autopsy shows she died from trauma to the body.

Kaitlyn's two siblings were taken into protective custody.


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  • by Renee Location: Rockford on Mar 21, 2011 at 08:46 PM
    I believe everyone has an American right to a fair trial. With that said the accused are innocent until proven guilty...

    DCFS is under staffed and overwhelmed with broken famlies. Children are caseloads & are treated as such. Once a parent has been found guilty of neglect and abuse the children are left to fend for their selves amongst strangers. Foster parents abuse too. Many are in it for the money not out of the goodness of their hearts. Children who suffer abuse from their foster parents often remain silent victims. Fear is what silence them, the unknown frightens them. May this be a wake up call to the parents who take their children for granted. Stop having children you are not emotionally, mentally, or financially equiped to support.
  • by Tracy Location: Rockford on Mar 21, 2011 at 01:32 PM
    Incase the public might not know...The Mother House is right around the corner from this unfortunate, inexcusable incident. It is a safe haven for children/families who are facing hardship:domestic violence, drug abuse, homelessness and PREVENTION provided of the above as well. So, PLEASE be aware of the resources! And donate or volunteer to help the kids/babys who cannot say "HELP". I am so sorry Kaitlyn. I wish I could hold you and rock you to your favorite lullaby. Tracy
  • by joy Location: rockford on Mar 21, 2011 at 07:45 AM
    Why haven't there been any more updates on this? Please!Please Please don't sweep this under the rug, this baby deserves justice, and these 2 creeps need to get whats coming to them.
  • by donna Location: rockford on Mar 20, 2011 at 10:58 AM
    First of all I doubt that the police arrested these 2 people without probable cause, they deal with these issues all the time so I'm pretty sure they can tell the difference between a child that has been abused or just fallen down the stairs, also the other 2 children also had marks on them of the same nature, either way someone hurt this child and they should pay dearly for taking this childs life. Rest in peace little one! No one can hurt you anymore.
  • by patricia on Mar 20, 2011 at 08:20 AM
    How can a monster of a human being take a child life away, then is able to continue to live. another good decision qiunn abolish the death sentence and let these monsters live , they have the right to live but that precious little girl didnt. this just makes my soul sick!!!!!
  • by John Location: Rockford on Mar 20, 2011 at 08:16 AM
    I know this man, we started playing pocker on sat. nights about two months ago, one weekend we played at his house. His 3 year old sat in our friends lap till he barked at her and all the kids went to their rooms without hesitation. They only had the kids for the welfare money, even the one on the way was planned for getting more welfare and food stamps that he sold for 50 cents on the dollar. I never cared for the man. i have seen him get very upset at pocker but never violent, maybe because we could hold our own. Looking back you start thinking about every interaction you had with the man, honestly if any of us suspected this was going on we would have stepped in. He got so angry last saturday he stormed out and vowed not to play with us again. He was so upset he stopped hanging out with the friend he knew in our group. kind of isolated himself from everyone the past week. the friend from the group stopped by a few days before this happen and "D" said "i need to get out of the house". Maybe he should have! I know the investigation is still ongoing and i still hold out hope the broken bones might have been from attempting cpr on a 3 year old which happens often. Just grasping at straws to make sence of this tragedy.
  • by Rockford 1234 Location: Rockford on Mar 20, 2011 at 07:05 AM
    This story makes me so angry! I think that the death penalty is too humane for this situation because it is a quick death, I think that child abusers should be killed the same way the child dies! Kids who are abused suffer a LOOOOOOONG time and it is painful it could be years of torture!
  • by joy Location: walton stree on Mar 20, 2011 at 03:48 AM
    I feel your children comes first before some garbage off the street. you can replace a man but can;t replace a child my heart go out to the girls and there little sisters
  • by cindi Location: rockford on Mar 20, 2011 at 03:29 AM
    these 2 monsters should get the death penalty
  • by heather Location: rockford on Mar 19, 2011 at 10:31 PM
    BRING BACK THE DEATH SENTANCE!
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