ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. (KMOV.com) – Gyasi Campbell has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Kane Friess-Wylie.
Friess-Wylie died of head trauma in 2017, according to St. Clair County Prosecutors.
Campbell reportedly gave several accounts of what happened the night the 2-year-old was left in his care after the boy’s mother, Lindsey Friess, left their Belleville apartment. He told investigators the boy fell into a bathtub, out of a bathtub and off a kitchen table.
Campbell, who was charged with first-degree murder, previously waved his right to a jury trial, so a judge was tasked with deciding the verdict.
To prove first-degree murder, the prosecution had to prove Campbell intended to kill, or injure Kane knowing it would case his death. The involuntary manslaughter charge required that a person recklessly perform an act that caused the death.
The St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office issued the below statement regarding the verdict:
"Although we maintain our submission that Campbell is guilty as originally charged, we respect the determination of the Court. In addition, we appreciate the hard work and attention given to the evidence by the court.
This office will continue to prosecute difficult cases, especially those involving a child victim. We appreciate Judge Doyle's commentary before announcing the verdict in the week-long trial that, 'he had never seen a better tried case.'"
After the verdict was announced, the judge revoked Campbell's bond and remanded him into the custody of the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department.
Campbell faces a potential sentence of 3-14 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The charge also could allow him to receive probation.
Extra security was seen at the courthouse as the verdict was announced. The St. Clair County Sheriff's Office told News 4 they had an extra presence in case something happened following the announcement of the verdict.
The Friess family started a campaign that was seen across St. Clair County after the judge in the case, Judge Zina Cruse, reduced Campbell's bond last year.
The campaign included yard signs across the area that stated "Justice for Kane" and signs that called for people to "Vote NO to retain Judge Zina Cruse."