URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Bond was set at $750,000 for a 27-year-old accused of kicking and hitting another woman, causing her death.
Khydijah Brazell was arraigned at the Champaign County Courthouse Wednesday on four counts of first-degree murder following the Monday death of Shelby Rix.
Rix and Brazell were friends, according to the account that prosecuting attorney Brooke Hinman laid out for Judge Roger Webber.
Hinman painted a brief picture of what happened at the First Heritage Inn in Rantoul Monday night when police said a fight broke out between Brazell and Rix.
They had the only two hotel rooms rented out that night, according to Hinman, who said multiple witnesses heard the fight and one saw it break out before it moved into a motel room.
Brazell claimed she became angry when Rix was smoking in one of the rooms, Hinman said.
Later, she was struggling to breathe, Hinman continued, and one of the witnesses and Brazell took a motionless Rix to the hospital. The autopsy report reads she died of blunt force trauma, and there was a “significant amount of internal bleeding,” according to the prosecution.
“The defendant also checked herself into the hospital for injuries,” Hinman said.
“She indicated to the hospital personnel that ‘I kicked her so hard, my foot hurts.’ She indicated to one of the responding officers that she has not gotten this angry before.”
Brazell, who appeared in court Wednesday via video conference, spoke up immediately after Hinman sat down.
“Sir, can I speak on my own behalf?” she said before Judge Webber cut her off.
Brazell was represented by a public defender, Jennifer Patton, who was appointed during the hearing. Patton described her client as a self-employed hairdresser with three children.
“She has no priors, there’s no indication that she is not going to appear in court in this case,” Patton said.
“Judge, I think my client in her own statement earlier intends on some type of self-defense claim.”
If convicted, Brazell faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. She was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 24.
Rix’s record included multiple felony battery charges in Champaign County, including a conviction dating back to 2016.