News & Culture

Illinois man sentenced to 90 years for killing 10-year-old girl, attempting to kill her sister

Both victims were strangled.


ROCKFORD, Ill. — A 44-year-old Blue Island, Illinois, man was sentenced Friday to 90 years in prison for killing a 10-year-old girl and attempting to kill her 6-year-old sister.

Antonio Monroe pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder, admitting in open court that on July 8 he traveled to Rockford, Illinois, and abducted Destiny Huggins and her sister as they played outside near their home.

Monroe told the court he threw both girls to the ground near a vacant house and strangled them at the same time. The 6-year-old escaped and ran home. Monroe was arrested after a search of the neighborhood.

His sentence includes 60 years for first-degree murder—served at 100%—and 30 years for attempted murder, served at 85%. The sentences will be served consecutively. In exchange for his guilty plea, kidnapping and other remaining charges and were dismissed.

“Today’s conviction and sentence will do little to ease the heartache caused by this horrible crime,” Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said in a release. “But it is our hope that the family, and the community, will take some solace in knowing that Monroe will spend the rest of his life in prison.” 

A registered sex offender, Monroe also faces first-degree murder charges in Cook County, Illinois. In that case, prosecutors say that on July 5, he killed a woman inside a hotel room in the city of Schaumburg and stole her car, the vehicle he allegedly drove to Rockford.

Authorities in Cook County are in the process of transporting Monroe from Rockford for his initial court appearance.