Matthew Mote
January 16, 1991 - September 24, 1994
Find A Grave Memorial
When adding children to my site, I do a lot of research, look for pictures, look for a Find A Grave Memorial, do all I can to tell the story of the child and honor them in the best way possible. My heart breaks every time I am unable to find even a single picture of the child. My heart broke even more when I visited the Find A Grave Memorial for Matthew Mote and saw that only one person, the person who created the memorial, had left a message. Matthew deserves to be remembered and memorialize, he deserves much better than what was given to him.

In the year 1991, the State of Illinois Department Of Children And Families did the right thing in trying to protect the children of Deena Kent, they transferred her case to Iowa, after she moved. Unfortunately, the state of Iowa did not return the favor when she moved back to Illinois in 1993 and just a short year later, a child would die from abuse.

On September 4, 1994, Raymond Burgess brought Matthew Mote to the hospital where the doctor, Scott Ludwig and several nurses were able to see many bruises all over his body so they  notified the police. Raymond spoke to the police and told them that he had been alone with Matthew that day after Deena had left. Raymond said that Matthew, a three year old, had several accidents throughout the day and the last time, he cleaned him up, put fresh clothes on him and left him in his room to watch television. Raymond claimed that he later went to check on Matthew and found him underneath the box spring saying it appeared as though the bed had collapsed on the child. Raymond told Police that he tried to revive Matthew but was not able to so he took him to the car and picked up Deena on the way to the hospital. Raymond said that he had not hit Matthew at all when first questioned.

Raymond told a different story later, when questioned again. Matthew had an accident and while changing him, Raymond claimed that Matthew threw feces at him and this caused him to punch Matthew in the stomach several times and then gave him a bath and left him in the room to watch television as he had stated earlier. Matthew had injuries on his rectum and Matthew said he had used a rubber spatula to clean him and that might have caused the injuries, denying that he had sexually assaulted the three year old child.

When Police searched the home, they went to Matthew's room and found that the box spring was off the bed a little bed, however, they saw toy cars on the frame and dust as well as cob webs on the bed frame, a sure sign that the box spring had been in that position for a long time. A rubber spatula was found in the bathroom and it was clean.

On September 25th, an autopsy was done by Dr. Mary Jumbelic and she found bruises on Matthew's body, on his face, head, neck, check, stomach, genitals, back, bottom, arms, legs and one large bruise on his stomach area. Dr. Jumbelic found tearing to Matthew's liver and mesentery. Matthew had died as a result of internal bleeding in his cranial and abdominal area, which was caused by blunt force trauma and that he would not have survived more than an hour after receiving these injuries which she believed were not caused by accident. Dr. Jembelic's opinions were backed up by Dr. Lori Frasier, a Pediatrician and Assistant Professor and Director of the Child Protecting And Advocacy program, who said that the Matthew had died as a result of child abuse.

Deena Kent, who was 26 years old at the time, was arrested.

Karen Mote, Deena's step-mother said that she and other members of the family had reported the abuse going on, many times:

"I reported her to DCFS and I know everybody else reported her"

Included in the reporting was Delores Fitzgerald, Deena's mother who would end up raising Brittany, Deena's seven year old daughter. It was reported that in June, Matthew had knee surgery and at that time, the hospital had seen and documented 17 injuries on the child. Karen said she saw a lot of neglect and tried to report it and get some help for Matthew, it never came. A visiting nurse had checked on Matthew for awhile after his surgery until it was found that he no longer needed her help:

"I saw Matthew go through a lot of neglect. I want people to know what's going on. It's not fair.
It kills me to think that I'll have to look at that little boy  in his coffin"
Karen Mote

Deena Kent was sentenced to 36 years in prison for not protecting Matthew while he was being abused.

Raymond Burgess, who was 30 years old at the time, was arrested and in court, several witnesses for the defense testified that they had seen Deena Kent abuse her son. The Prosecution witnesses stated that they had seen Raymond abuse Matthew on many occasions. Matthew testified on his own behalf and he told of the events on the day that Matthew died only his testimony was different than what he had told Police. Raymond said that Matthew, who seemed to be very clumsy, had fallen off of a stool, down the stairs, ot of a tree, in the bathtub and had been in a fight with two other children. Matthew had a busy day and in addition to that, Raymond did admit that he had punched him in the stomach, but denied that he had killed him.

A jury found Raymond Burgess guilty of two counts of first degree murder and one count of aggravated battery of a child and the next phase of the trial would be sentencing. At the hearing, evidence was presented that showed that Matthew had been sodomized, his anus was dilated and semen was found inside of him. The state wanted to seek the death penalty against Raymond because of the rape of a three year old child, they called aggravated criminal sexual assault and the murder of a child in a heinous manner. By the end of the first phase of sentencing, a jury found the existence of both statutory aggravating circumstances.

During the second phase, the jury heard of violence that took place before Matthew's death. A woman testified that Raymond had threatened to kill her, using a gun, on at least two different occasions and that woman's daughter backed her up adding that he had also spanked her sister. It was brought out in court that Raymond had also been convicted of first degree forgery in 1987 and had been on three years of probation. Defending Raymond in court were his father, a former employer and some neighbors who all told of a helpful and a very generous person who was always nice to and got alone well with children. A jury found there was cause to sentence Raymond to death and the Judge sentenced him to death.

The death penalty was abolished in Illinois in 2011 and Raymond, along with many others, had their sentences reduced to life without parole.

UPDATE: January 29, 2015 (Thank you Dana for this update)

It has been reported that on January 13, 2015, Ray Burgess has died in prison. Ray's age was listed as 50 years old. A cause of death was not given. The Jury Foreman, Gary Lohff took the news well:

"I'm pretty sure I said HURRAY. The pictures I can still see in my mind.
There's child abuse cases that come up now and then and the memories
are as fresh as can be. You never, ever forget it"

Gary said of Deena Kent:

"I know of had mixed emotions about her. I think she knew something might
have been going on, but she didn't know how bad it was and she was scared
of Burgess"

The jurors had no fear and they felt they did their job, only to have their decision reversed:

"Everyone on that jury hated that S.O.B.. It just really upset me when the Governor
granted clemency. We had put him to death"

Gary Lohff had made a trip to Springfiled in the year 2003 to speak along with Judge Jay Hanson, who by then was retired, to the Governor and ask that an exception be made in the case of Ray Burgess. Attempts to keep Ray from being re sentenced to life without parole didn't work.

The jury was affected deeply by this case:

"Months after the trial, I'd be driving to work, wiping tears off my face.
To be honest with you, I've shed a few today"

Gary Lohff said that nobody wants to be filled with hate and celebrate the death of another human being, but Ray Burgess was not someone who was forgivable:

"We taxpayers kept feeding him and giving him medical care and when
I think of that, it upsets me. We could've saved a lot of money if he'd
gotten what he deserved"

Ray was found unresponsive in his cell according to Stateville Correctional Center spokesman Tom Shaer. Staff at the prison tried life saving measure but were not able to save him. Ray was said to weigh almost 350 pounds and was suffering with health issures. Foul play was not suspected in his death and the prison was waiting for results from the Coroner.

This page was created on May 27, 2014
Death Occurred in the state of Illinois

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