Mother accused of running over teenager with car

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A judge set bond at $1 million for a Streamwood, Illinois woman accused of using her car to run down and kill an Elgin, Illinois teenager. The teen allegedly got into a fight with the woman’s son over a girl the previous night.

Timera D. Branch, 33, of Streamwood has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of John W. Keyes of Elgin. Keyes was struck and killed by a car about 4 p.m. on Sunday in Elgin police said.

According to his family members, Keyes had been at a party in Elgin Saturday night, dancing with the girlfriend of Branch’s 16-year-old son. The son shoved Keyes, who responded by punching the boy in the eye, the family members said.

The following afternoon Branch tracked Keyes to a residence in Elgin and then pinned him to a building with her car, according to the Keyes family. He was pronounced dead a short time later at an area hospital. Prosecutors and police declined to comment on the circumstances that led to the death.

“This was just senseless,” said Keyes’ sister, LaTasha Keyes.

More than 20 family members attended the hearing. They said Keyes did not know Branch’s son.

Kane County Judge Clint Hull told Branch she could face a minimum 20-year sentence on the murder charge.

Assistant State’s Atty. Thomas St. Jules said Branch did not have a criminal history, but had several citations for driving on a suspended license. Her next court date is November 19.

Because the court was closed to the public because of Veterans Day, Keyes’ mother watched the proceedings intently from the closed circuit monitor in the county jail lobby.

A few minutes earlier, Dionne Harris, mother of Keyes, had said she wanted to see Branch’s face.

“He was my only son,” Harris said after the hearing. “He wasn’t a bad kid – he wasn’t any trouble. It was just a little fight.”