Boy’s suicide could affect dad’s domestic battery case

Prosecutors reviewing charges against Olympia Fields man

|Tribune reporter

A 12-year-old Olympia Fields boy’s Easter suicide could mean that domestic battery charges brought about two weeks ago against his father—who is alleged to have beaten the boy for not letting out the dog—will be dropped.

Menyarri Capehart hanged himself at his family’s two-story brick home in the 2800 block of Paris Road on Sunday; he was pronounced dead at 1:42 p.m. in St. James Hospital.

On Monday, the day attorneys in the domestic battery case were scheduled to appear in court, the Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled Menyarri’s death a suicide.

“It’s a horrible set of circumstances,” Bernard Shelton, the attorney representing Menyarri’s father, Daniel, said Tuesday. As far as charges being dropped, “That’s not something we can control, but that’s the indication we got yesterday when the case was up. Until we get in there and see, I don’t know,” he said.

Shelton said his client is devastated [he should be more than devasted, drawn and quartered seems apropo] by his son’s death and is grieving with his wife. Capehart denies ever striking the boy and plans to fight the charges if the case continues, he said.

Police responding to a 911 hang-up call at the family’s home on March 30 found Daniel Capehart, 31, on the driveway with a 6-inch cut on his forehead, said Andy Conklin, a spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office.

Capehart’s wife told police he had come home drunk and punched Menyarri in the chest for “not letting the dog out before school,” Conklin said. The blow caused Menyarri to lose his breath, he said. After Capehart’s wife told him “not to touch her son like that,” he threw food at her and was coming after her when she struck him with a frying pan, Conklin said. She has not been charged.

With their main witness now dead, [just one by my count] prosecutors are reviewing the case, which is due back in court on May 1, Conklin said.