PEORIA — A Peoria County jury convicted of a Peoria Heights man of severely beating his former girlfriend's 14-month-old son last year. The mother tearfully recalled for the jury how her son's eyes rolled into the back of his head and how she just knew, "as a mother," that he needed help.
The boy was rushed to OSF Healthcare Saint Francis Medical Center's emergency room at about 8 a.m. 18, 2016, after the mother, who lived in Germantown Hills, noticed the child wasn't acting right.
She testified she heard crying, screaming and choking sounds coming from the bedroom but thought the boy was just upset.
It was only after she heard a slapping sound that she into the room and took him from Hillsman.
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Finally, Hillsman himself testified during the trial that he was afraid to go that day as he didn't want to meet the girl's parents in that way, as they had just started dating a few weeks earlier.
The mother said the night before, at about 11 p.m., she had gone to his apartment and was going to let him put the boy to bed as she was tired.
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