Justice for Paul

Update: 6:10 pm, 8/29/12, Wednesday
JOLIET -- A mother trying to cope with her son's death gets news she was dreading. Paul McCann was beaten to death in a Charleston group home in 2011.

Keyun Newble was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in July. He's already serving 8 years, but the other man involved may serve even less.

Marquis Harmon will be sentenced in November but is looking at only four because of a plea agreement. Paul's mother says that's not justice.

"He was the sweetest. He didn't deserve what he got," said Lois McCann.

It's pain that she has to deal with everyday and an image that she can't get out of her head.

"I lifted the cover to look at his legs and that I'll never forget. He had not circle marks, but purple lines going all the way down his leg. They kicked him."

Her son was beaten to death at Graywood Group Home. The two employees allegedly beat him to death with a frying pan, accusing him of stealing a cookie.

"I cry all the time when I think about how he suffered. I think about how he suffered, and he didn't deserve that. He was a good boy."

Paul was born disabled and had the mental capacity of a 6-year old. His mother said because of that, he suffered in silence.

"It makes me feel really bitter."

The one thing that kept her going; justice. Something she says she'll never get.

"I read about people in the paper that have done lesser and they get a much bigger sentencing. I feel cheated for Paul. I feel Paulie was cheated."

Her son is gone, but she says his legacy will live on forever.

"I'd like Paulie to be remembered as a marauder, for the cause. For all of these young men and women in these group homes. That he's a spokesman."

Paul did leave a legacy. This year, Governor Quinn signed Paul's Law. It puts observers into group homes and enforces regular background checks of employees.

The Coles County State's Attorney says he's been very close to Paul's family throughout the process. He says he understands and respects Mrs. McCann's feelings, but that there just wasn't enough evidence in this case.

Original: 8/28/12, Tuesday

COLES COUNTY -- A former employee of Graywood Foundation pleaded guilty to criminal neglect and obstructing justice in the 2011 beating death of Paul McCann. McCann was a developmentally disabled man under the care of 24-year old Marquis Harmon. 

 P. McCann
As part of Harmon's plea agreement, the state's attorney dismissed charges of first degree murder and criminal negligence, and is recommending a 4-year prison sentence. Harmon is scheduled to be sentenced November 9.

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