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Court doc: Man who killed Kyson Beatty sped away, said he couldn't be caught driving the truck

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Posted at 12:42 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 13:31:55-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The man arrested for striking and killing 11-year-old Kyson Beatty told a passenger in his vehicle he thought he "hit somebody" and couldn't be caught driving the truck before shifting gears and speeding away, according to a court document.

John Killough, Jr. was arrested Saturday morning, more than a week after Beatty was killed near South Tibbs Avenue and Wicker Road in Indianapolis. The Marion County Prosecutor's Office charged him with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death or catastrophic injury, a Level 4 felony, and operating while HTV (habitual traffic violator) causing death, a Level 5 felony, according to court records.

Through an investigation, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detectives learned there was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the deadly accident. Investigators learned a person was working on a farm and had called Killough to pick him up because he was low on fuel, according to a probable cause affidavit. The other person then got into the passenger seat and Killough drove away.

As Killough was driving on South Tibbs Avenue, he "swerved hard to the right" and heard a thump, but didn't know what it was, according to the affidavit.

"Aw f**k.. I think I hit somebody!" Killough said.

Investigators determined Beatty was riding a blue 80cc Yamaha motorcycle in the area when he ran into the side of an unknown vehicle, according to the affidavit. The 11-year-old suffered a "grave head injury" from the collision and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The passenger in Killough's vehicle told detectives when he asked Killough why he was driving away, Killough said he couldn't be caught driving the truck, quickly changed gears and sped away, according to the affidavit.

Several other witnesses who spoke to police also identified a "rollback tow truck" in the area where Beatty was killed around the time of the accident, according to the affidavit. Some told detectives they saw the rollback "swerve" as if it was trying to avoid hitting something.

On Dec. 12, one day after Beatty was killed, Killough removed all of his belongings from the home he was renting, according to the affidavit.

Craig King and Katie Book told WRTV Killough had slept in their camper for a night after he showed up Friday begging for a place to stay. They said he told them he wrecked his truck and didn't have anywhere to stay.

It wasn't until they saw his picture on Facebook they realized something was wrong.

"He comes up saying I didn't do nothing, I don't know what you are doing, I don't know why you are doing this to me," King said. "I just was like you are still going to sit and act like that hurt a child and he goes I wasn't driving."

Carl Beatty, Kyson's dad, met with Craig King and Katie Book after the arrest.

"Y'all did the right thing man. I couldn't thank y'all enough man. I can sleep now. I ain't been to sleep since it happened," Carl said. "I am just glad they got him before his funeral Monday so now he can rest in peace."

Family and friends of Kyson, a sixth-grader, described him as "a young man who lived a very, very bright life," "motivating" and a mama's boy who loved his sisters and friends a lot.