Charges were approved Friday against an 18-year-old woman accused of fatally stabbing a 16-year-old girl downtown Tuesday night.
Egypt Otis faces a count of first-degree murder in the death of Heaven Taylor, who suffered multiple stab wounds during an apparent argument in the first block of West Van Buren Street, according to Cook County prosecutors and Chicago police.
Otis, 18, of Oak Lawn, is expected to make her first court appearance on the charge on Saturday afternoon. She surrendered to police Wednesday evening with the assistance of a West Side pastor. A man who worked at the same church as the pastor and helped facilitate the woman’s surrender told the Sun-Times she came to them for help after the incident.
“She was being attacked, and in all the videos that you see she was being attacked,” he said. “People were trying to portray it as if she was an aggressor, and she wasn’t. She was standing there until they came and attacked her, and it escalated.”
The man said there had been previous altercations with this group of girls, and that the woman who was arrested had acted in self-defense.
Officers — flagged down while responding to a disturbance at a nearby Taco Bell — found Taylor lying in the street about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday. She had stab wounds to her chest. Officers applied a chest seal bandage, and she was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment. She was pronounced dead early Wednesday.
The teen’s mother, Chalesia Clayton, said her daughter had just started her junior year at UCAN Academy on the South Side. The girl was also the mother of a 2-year-old boy.
“I just want her remembered as a good momma and a good auntie and a good daughter,” Clayton said. “This right here just hurts.”
Taylor was the second child in less than a year whom Clayton lost to violence in Chicago. Clayton’s 29-year-old son was killed, and Clayton was wounded, in a November 2022 shooting outside a South Side McDonald’s.