Jayla and Jessica Hill (18 and 21, respectively) have been charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder each and were ordered to be held without bail on Tuesday following their arrest. The incident, which was caught on surveillance camera at the Snipes athletic store in the Chicago suburb of Lawndale, happened on Sunday as the store was about to close.
Older sister Jessica is accused of stabbing the store’s security guard 27 times with a “comb knife” while her younger sister Jayla held him by the hair to stop him from moving. Both the store manager and the guard himself reportedly pleaded for the young women to stop attacking the guard, to no avail.
When he finally broke free, the sisters allegedly kicked him in the head and body, while Jessica declared he was a “b***h” who’d been “f***ed up” by her and her sister. Despite his wounds, the guard himself apparently stopped the pair from running away before the police made it to the scene.
The unnamed man was treated at nearby Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition even though he did not require surgery for the wounds on his neck, back and arms. The sisters, too, were treated for “minor lacerations” at St. Anthony Hospital.
The women were stopped by the security guard as they attempted to enter Snipes around 6pm on Sunday and became confrontational when he asked them to put on masks and use hand sanitizer. Jayla took out her phone to start filming and can reportedly be heard on the footage inviting someone (presumably her sister) to “kick his ass” as the 6 foot 5 (1.96 meters), 270-pound (122.5 kg) guard attempted to grab the phone from her.
The sisters were then asked to leave, and one can apparently be seen on surveillance footage hitting the guard in the face with a trash can before Jessica took out her weapon and started stabbing him. Other outlets have reported one of the girls punched the guard.
The Hills’ lawyer has argued they acted in self-defense, reasoning that Jayla filmed at least part of the incident and no one planning a murder would go out of their way to create video evidence of the crime. The girls are also bipolar, the attorney told the court. Both recently graduated from Chicago Public Schools, and local media described them as “college-bound.”
The judge declined to release the girls on bail, noting that while they may not have any criminal history, the “sheer number” of stab wounds indicated something “too random and quickly escalating” for their release to take place in “conditions that would protect the community.”
“It’s the complete randomness of this,” Judge Mary Marubio said in her decision on Tuesday. “It’s terrifying.”
While local media has reported neither sister had a criminal record, Heavy.com noted that the Chicago Police Department has a record for Jessica Hill’s arrest in October 2017 for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She was bailed out on a $1500 bond.
Already a high-crime city, Chicago has seen homicide rates spike 50 percent over the past year, and 139 percent in July alone, a microcosm of nationwide trends. During last month’s Labor Day holiday weekend alone, some 51 people were shot, 10 fatally, down slightly from the previous weekend that saw 55 people shot. Amid the carnage, one man was killed by police as he attempted to stab an officer.
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