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Man convicted of murder and neglect in death of elderly relative found in Illinois, sentenced to life in prison

Christopher Kennedy was found guilty of first-degree murder on July 15 after failing to appear in court.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Authorities said that on Wednesday they captured a man in Illinois who was found guilty of first-degree murder in Roane County Criminal Court. Then, on August 24, the District Attorney's Office said he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder.

An arrest warrant was issued for Christopher Kennedy in July after he failed to show up for his court date. He was convicted of murder and neglect in a 2019 case involving the death of an elderly relative. After the warrant was issued,

Evelyn Denise Kennedy, 50, and Christopher Kennedy were both convicted of first-degree murder and neglect in the 2019 death of 72-year-old Betty Crews. She was Evelyn Kennedy's aunt and lived with the two on and off for around 30 years.

According to 9th Judicial District Attorney Russell Johnson, Evelyn Kennedy’s daughter, Jessica Harris, called authorities on April 5, 2019, and Crews was admitted to the Roane Medical Center in Harriman.

She was reportedly in a state of severe neglect and malnutrition. Authorities said they found Crews on a U-Haul moving mat. She died two months later on June 7, 2019. 

Christopher Kennedy was captured by the U.S. Marshall's Service in Marshall County, Illinois. He will be held with no bond while waiting for a sentencing hearing on the next available court data, according to a release from the Roane County Sheriff's Office.

On November 18, 2022, he will appear in court again for a sentencing hearing on the charge of aggravated elder abuse.

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