The North Chicago woman charged with killing her 6-year-old son Damari Perry and hiding his body pleaded not guilty to all charges on Thursday.
Jeremiah Perry, 20, and Jannie Perry, 38, both of North Chicago, were indicted on February 2 by a Lake County jury on more than a dozen charges each.
They were jointly indicted on eight counts of murder, aggravated battery of a child, dismembering a human body, conspiracy, aggravated domestic battery, concealment of a homicidal death, endangering the life or health of a child, abuse of a corpse and obstructing justice.
Jannie Perry was also indicted on one count of failure to report the death or disappearance of a child under 13 years of age.
Court records show the woman was scheduled to appear in court on February 7 for an arraignment hearing.
Perry did not appear for the hearing and the arraignment hearing was rescheduled for this past Monday, which she also did not appear for.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Christopher Covelli, who is the Court Security Division’s deputy chief, said Perry was temporarily transferred from the jail on February 6 due to medical reasons.
She was transferred back to the jail one week later on Sunday afternoon, Covelli said.
Jannie Perry appeared on Thursday for her rescheduled arraignment hearing where a judge read her the charges she is facing.
The woman entered a not guilty plea to all counts against her, court records show.
Damari’s older brother, Jeremiah Perry, also pleaded not guilty to all of his charges earlier this month.
Prosecutors have indicated they would seek natural life sentences for the two defendants if they are convicted.
Court records show Jannie Perry is scheduled to appear in court again on March 3 for a status hearing while Jeremiah Perry is scheduled to appear in court again on March 4 for a status hearing.
Prosecutors have said that Jannie and Jeremiah Perry formulated and enacted a plan to severely punish 6-year-old Damari Perry through prolonged exposure in a cold shower.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Kyle Doyle said the family of Damari reported that the boy “did something that the mother felt needed to be punished for” on December 29.
The next day, Damari was put into a tub or shower with the cold water on for an “extended period of time,” Doyle said in court.
Damari vomited and became unresponsive. It was determined the boy was deceased but no one in the family called 911, Doyle said.
The incident occurred at the family’s apartment in the 1700 block of Sheridan Road in North Chicago.
Doyle said that Jannie Perry and Jeremiah Perry discussed how to dispose of the body and ended up taking it to Indiana.
On January 5, almost a week after Damari’s death, the family reported the boy missing.
Investigators determined the family’s story about Damari going missing in Skokie was “completely false.”
Damari’s body was located near an abandoned house in the 700 block of Van Buren Street in Gary, Indiana, police said.
The boy was found naked wrapped in a plastic trash bag, the Lake County, Indiana Coroner’s Office said.
He had bruises, an extremely cold core temperature and partially frozen internal organs, an autopsy found. The coroner’s office said Damari also had postmortem burns.