Charges: Mother, Uncle Stole From Burn Victim’s Fund

HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) — A mother and uncle have been charged with stealing money from a benefit fund intended to assist the recovery of a teenager intentionally set on fire.

According to criminal charges filed in Dakota County, 43-year-old Jeffrey Stewart and 40-year-old Jodi Stewart acted together to take $2,500 from accounts set up to help Antoine Willis, who is currently being treated for second- and third-degree burns.

Jodi Stewart is Willis’s mother, and Jeffrey Stewart is Willis’s uncle.

Jeffrey Stewart set up benefit accounts without Willis’s permission. The criminal complaint says Willis went so far as to refuse to sign the paperwork because he didn’t trust his uncle.

Willis was set on fire on July 20 after Willis broke up an argument between Curtis Reed, 54, and his mother. Police said Reed poured lighter fluid on Willis, who was asleep, and then ignited it. Reed has been charged with that crime.

In August, Jeffrey Stewart and Jodi Stewart allegedly withdrew money from the accounts set up to benefit Willis and used the money at the casino.

Both Jeffrey Stewart and Jodi Stewart have been charged with felony counts of aiding and abetting theft by swindle. The maximum penalty the charge carries is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

  • I'll adopt him

    Wow! From your own child? I don’t think they went to the casino with that money…. f’in Meth Heads!

    Mother of the year award for sure.

  • Amazing story

    I thought Chris Cook was having a bad day.

  • Jim

    jeezus effing christmas.

  • Molly

    So, she lets her boyfriend abuse her son, then she steals from him the money he needs to recover??? She needs to ROT IN JAIL. That poor kid. He needs a decent family to adopt him.

  • just sayin

    IF I were this kid – I would divorce from the family! Run away and don’t look back. Start your life new man. What a messed up woman and uncle… what dirtballs. So disgusting.

  • Concerned for kids

    I hope they are sent to jail and meet up with some inmate who were abused by their own parents. Maybe they’ll end up like Jeffrey Dahmer. Also hope the kid finds a real family. They might share his DNA but they are not an uncle and mother. How depraved can a human being be? Sick

  • mel

    I hope that kid has a support network outside of his messed up family. If he’s reading this, you didn’t do ANYTHING to deserve that. You are not at fault in anyway for the actions of your mother.

  • rw

    Good grief, this country is soft on time served in prison.

  • Judy

    Tell me, HOW is a $10 thousand dollar fine going to benefit this young man?? Both the Mom and the Uncle should be ordered to repay the money that was to be used for him. Poor kid has been through a lot. Wish you a speedie recovery Willis. Your instincts were right. It pays to pay attention to those gut feelings. Betrayal by a parent or relative is dificult to imagine. Sorry you had to be yet another victim.

  • TL the alligator

    they BOTH deserve the entire 5 years the law allows for this despicable crime…..both the mother AND uncle are POS’s and both deserve to sit in prison the next 5 years.

  • Roxie Van Dorpe

    i say someone light them on fire. 5 years…………give me a break

  • KegHead

    This has to be St. Louis.

    • Beyond words

      Naaaa – one has to have their head up their (place) to think MN is any better than St Louis or even Detroit for that matter. Now if ya want to say Iraq or Iran then I concur
      Beyond sad this story is – HTG I hope and pray someone takes the lives of these two POS’s. Maybe a year of the most sadistic and brutal torture first eh – an eye for an eye kinda thing

  • Schpaver

    To learn more about the mom & uncle, go to, and type in their names. Both are complete loosers. The kid has no criminal record at all. All this poor young man did was protect his mom from an A-hole boyfriend, and look at his payback.

  • PJO

    just when you think you have heard the lowest of low, someone reinvents it. my heart aches for this poor kid. i hope he finds some decent, honorable and respectable people to care for him.

  • Jon Salle

    what complete f**ng gutter trash!

  • No needle No stadium

    We need Perry as gov up here,then we can start cleaning up!

  • Sandy

    Poor kid, wish I could just take him home with me and take care of him :(

  • common sense

    Poor kid indeed! This from his own family?!? What’s wrong with these people?

  • TL the alligator

    … SEEN the POS mother at Mystic lake on TWO occasions gambling……shes a complete loser and apparantly always has been….the kid would be much better off having NO mother than to have one like that.

  • Silliness

    Be strong Antoine; you’re a good kid with a kind heart for risking your life just to keep the peace in your home fore people who didn’t even deserve your help. You have the rest of your life ahead of you and CLEARLY are better than your mother, her boyfriend, and your uncle. You don’t have to say it to these idiots, just know it. I hope your physical healing continues healthy, and keep strong.

    As for all these idiots who were running their racist-ass mouths in July when this first happened (“just sayin” and others who’ve probably changed their names here), hope you enjoy your foot in it because she clearly wasn’t shyt to defend to begin with. *smh at simple-minded folks*

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