Joliet woman sentenced to 35 years in prison for killing of her baby

Shanquilla Garvey, 30, of Joliet,

A woman was sentenced Friday, Feb. 23 to 35 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to killing her infant daughter in 2017 at the Bel-Air Motel in Joliet.

Shanquilla Garvey, 30, of Joliet will serve all 35 years in prison after Will County Judge Dan Rippy accepted her plea of guilty to first-degree murder of her 8-month-old daughter, Cherish Freeman. The child suffered two skull fractures, brain bleeding and liver laceration in the Dec. 20, 2017 attack.

In a statement, Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow called Garvey’s fatal beating of her own child “incomprehensible.”

“Cherish was taken from this earth simply because Shanquilla Garvey wanted her to stop crying. This precious baby girl’s last experience was one of trauma and suffering, something no prison sentence can ever undo,” Glasgow said.

Garvey was sobbing during her first court appearance following her arrest in 2017 and apologized over the incident. Nevertheless, Judge Art Smigielski ordered Garvey to stay in jail without bond, effectively preventing her release.

“This baby was beaten, kicked and thrown against a dresser. No bond,” Smigielski said at the time.

After Garvey’s arrest, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services took custody of the two girls who were with Garvey at the Bel-Air Motel when the police arrived.

In 2018, Cherish’s father, Justin Freeman, filed a lawsuit against two organizations over the incident. His lawsuit alleged his warnings of abuse faced by Cherish were ignored and his daughter was put in harm’s way when she had been released to Garvey.