Trial over 2018 Joliet Township slaying moved to late summer

Deiontae McMillian

A trial over the 2018 killing of a woman in Joliet Township that was supposed to begin the day after New Year’s Day has been moved to August.

The trial against Deiontae McMillian, 29, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was rescheduled after he told Judge Carmen Goodman on Monday that he was looking for a new lawyer and he’s having discovery issues with prosecutors.

As a result, Goodman decided to reschedule McMillian’s two-week trial for Aug. 5.

Since spring 2022, McMillian has been serving as his own lawyer after he parted ways with his previous defense attorney, Paul Napolski.

The investigation that led to McMillian’s arrest began when an off-duty Joliet police officer found the body of Danica Ford on Nov. 12, 2018, while he was hunting, prosecutors have said.

Ford had been killed elsewhere, and her body was burned and dumped in a wooded area near Woodlawn Cemetery in Joliet, according to the Will County Sheriff’s Office.

In 2018, Will County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Dan Jungles told The Herald-News that McMillian had been taken into custody in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he and his ex-girlfriend had resided.

McMillian had moved to Schaumburg for work, and Ford, who had a child with him, followed soon after, Jungles said. Ford had worked as a hairstylist and a dancer, he said.

After the investigation, McMillian was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder and concealing the homicidal death of Ford.