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Suspect arrested in hit-and-run death of 11-year-old Kyson Beatty

John Killough Jr
Posted at 9:57 AM, Dec 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 13:28:12-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A Martinsville man has been arrested in connection to the death of Kyson Beatty, 11.

John Killough Jr. was arrested Saturday morning on a warrant. The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has charged Killough with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death or catastrophic injury, a Level 4 felony, and operating while HTV causing death, a Level 5 felony.

Craig King and Katie Book say Killough Jr. had slept in their camper for one night when they realized he was the man wanted in connection to the accident and called 911.

The couple says he randomly showed up late Friday night, begging for a place to stay and saying he wrecked his truck and didn't have anywhere to go.

"He said I wrecked my truck in Illinois coming back from the casino, I'm freezing, I'm wet, I got my dog," said Book.

They offered him a ride.

"Do you want a ride? No, I can't go home. My family is mad at me. I lost everything, I lost all my money, I totaled my truck," said Book.

King and Book gave him a blanket and coat and let him sleep in an unheated camper in their yard. Saturday morning, they say they let him inside to warm up and noticed something was wrong.

kyson beatty suspect arrest trailer

"He goes 'man, I am a nervous wreck. I gotta go out here to my dog' [and] red signs started flashing," said King. "When he goes back outside to check on his dog he's flipping through Facebook and all a sudden, blam, his face pops up," said King.

kyson beatty suspect arrest trailer inside

Surveillance video shows Killough Jr. in handcuffs.

"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. I just was like you are still going to sit and act like that hurt a child and he goes I wasn't driving," said King.

Kyson's dad, Carl Beatty, met the couple after the arrest and thanked them for turning Killough in.

With a meaningful hug and handshake, Carl says he found comfort knowing an arrest had been made.

"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," said Beatty. "I am just glad they got him before his funeral Monday so now he can rest in peace."

The couple says they're just glad they were able to help provide some closure.

"God bless you. You are in our prayers man; I am so sorry," said King. "There you go, folks. We got him. God bless you and my prayers are with you to the fullest."

Kyson was riding a small motorcyclewhen he was hit and killed on Dec. 11. Since then, dozens of people have left items at the crash site and attended a prayer vigil and balloon release.

The family says Kyson's death has left a hole in their heart.

MORE | Family of 11-year-old hit-and-run victim Kyson Beatty calls on driver to come forward

kyson beatty

Family and friends of the sixth-grader describe 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.

"It's amazing how many people have cared and reached out, people we don't even know. It's just so appreciated," Sonia Tarter, Kyson’s grandmother, told WRTV.