Crime Profile: The Debra Evans Case

Debra Evans Case
Family Photo; Mug Shots

On November 16, 1995, in Addison, Illinois, Jacqueline Williams, 28, her boyfriend, Fedell Caffey, 22, and her cousin, Laverne Ward, 24, entered the home of Ward's ex-girlfriend, 28-year-old Debra Evans.

Debra Evans was the mother of three children: 10-year-old Samantha, 8-year-old Joshua, and 19-month-old Jordan, who was believed to be Ward’s son. She was also nine months pregnant with her fourth child and was due to go to the hospital on November 19, to have labor induced. She had planned to name the child Elijah.

Evans had a restraining order against Ward for domestic violence but allowed the group into her home. Once inside, Ward tried to make Evans accept $2,000 in exchange for her baby. When she refused, Caffey pulled out a gun and shot her. Then Ward and Caffey hunted down Evans's daughter Samantha and stabbed her to death.

Afterward, as Evans struggled for her life, Williams, Caffey, and Ward used scissors and a knife to cut her open and then removed the unborn male fetus from her womb. 

Williams performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the infant and once he was breathing on his own, she cleaned him in the kitchen sink and then dressed him in a sleeper.

Leaving Jordan in the apartment with his dead mother and sister, the trio took the infant Elijah and Evans's son Joshua and went to the apartment of a friend, Patrice Scott, at around midnight. Williams asked Scott if she would keep Joshua for the night, stating that his mother had been shot and was in the hospital. She also told Scott that she had given birth earlier in the evening and would bring the infant the following day so that she could see him.

Joshua Asked for Help

Joshua, who was frightened and cried throughout the night, reached out to Scott the following morning for help. He told her that his mother and sister were dead and named those who were responsible.

Once the group realized he could be a witness to their crimes they set out to murder him. He was poisoned, strangled and then Williams held him while Caffey slashed at his neck, finally killing him. His young body was left in an alley in a nearby town.

Jacqueline Williams and Fedell Caffey

The murder of Debra Evans and the theft of her unborn child had been a plan in the works for some time. Williams, a mother of three, was unable to have any more children, but Caffey wanted to be a father and was pressuring Williams about having a baby, specifically one with light skin so that they would look alike.

Williams began to fake a pregnancy in April 1999, telling friends at her baby shower that the baby was due in August. She then moved the due date to October and on November 1, told her probation officer that she had given birth to a baby boy.

But Williams was still without a baby and according to her, Ward presented her with the solution. His ex-girlfriend, Evans was about to give birth to a new baby boy.

Now with a new baby in tow, Williams thought her worries were over. Her boyfriend was happy to be a father and she had a baby to show to her probation officer as well as friends and family.

Laverne Ward

Laverne Ward, who it is believed lead Williams and Caffey to Evans, was also the reason the three were arrested for the murders.

Reportedly, Ward called an old girlfriend right after murdering Evans and told her to end her relationship with her boyfriend or face having the same thing done to her as was done to Evans.

The police investigation also led to Ward after Jordan, who police believed was Ward's son, and was the only child left in the house unharmed.


The three were arrested and convicted. Williams and Caffey received the death penalty and Ward received one life sentence plus 60 years. On January 11, 2003, the one-term Governor of  Illinois, George Homer Ryan, Sr., commuted all death sentences to life sentences without the possibility of parole. Ryan was later convicted of corruption charges and spent five years in federal prison.

Elijah and Jordan

Elijah survived his brutal entry into the world unharmed and in October 1996, Evans' father, Samuel Evans, was granted legal guardianship to Elijah and his brother Jordan.

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Your Citation
Montaldo, Charles. "Crime Profile: The Debra Evans Case." ThoughtCo, Jul. 30, 2021, Montaldo, Charles. (2021, July 30). Crime Profile: The Debra Evans Case. Retrieved from Montaldo, Charles. "Crime Profile: The Debra Evans Case." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 30, 2023).