‘That baby was a real person’

A Jacksonville, Florida, man who raped and killed his pregnant niece will spend the rest of his life in prison after a judge gave him three life sentences.

In 2018, Johnathan Quiles raped and impregnated a 16-year-old That’s Sawyer, his nephew. Family members said Sawyer knew she was pregnant and wanted to keep her baby, but never confronted Quiles out of fear for her life. According to witnesses, Quiles persuades Sawyer to meet him, and says they will run away together. While they were sitting in the back of a car, he tried to strangle her, but she couldn’t take it. Investigators said he then shoots Sawyer, wraps him in a carpet, and dumps him in a dumpster he knows will be empty later that day. Despite searches of the landfill, Sawyer’s body has never been found. Sawyer is five months pregnant.

During the sentencing, Sawyer’s mother, Kimberly Mobley, gave a emotional statement while wearing a shirt with a sonogram photo, which also read “Mabuhay si Hazel” — the name of her preborn grandson.


“Iyana is always happy-go-lucky, and she always makes us laugh… Iyana is full of life and wants to do so many things, she wants to be a pediatrician and maybe a lawyer,” he said, adding, “She is thoughtful, caring, responsible, ambitious, intelligent, leader, comedian and so much more.”

Mobley mourned the loss of Baby Hazel even more. “I will never hear my grandson’s first cry in the delivery room. I will never be able to hold my grandson, or give him milk,” she said tearfully. “I will never get over him like I did over Iyana. I will never see her become a mother. She was so happy when I told her I was going to take maternity leave when the baby was born.”

Judge Anthony Salem, in his sentencing, spoke of Hazel and the death she suffered at the hands of Quiles. “That baby feels love and comfort,” she said. “Sadly, because of Mr. Quiles, he made sure it felt pain. But that baby is a real person. I was comforted to know that he was with his mother at the time.”

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