Monday a middle aged man who had formerly been convicted of first-degree murder in downstate Illinois was granted a retrial. During the retrial, testimony was given that as the pawn shop owner, he refused to open the safe, while at gunpoint, because it had happened before and financially ruined him.
The shop owner testified that during the robbery, two armed robbers entered his pawn shop and demanded that he open the safe. He refused to open the safe that held cash and jewelry.
The pawn shop owner shot and killed one of the armed robbers while he was leaving the store. The owner also testified that during the robbery, he was hit in the back of the head with a pistol and fired shots because he thought the robber was locking the door to the pawn shop in an attempt to force the owner to open the safe.
During the robbery, the assailants escaped with approximately $1300 in cash and jewelry.
The pawn shop owner said the robbers got away with about $1,300 in cash and jewelry.
The killed robber’s partner was charged with his partner’s murder under the Illinois felony murder law which makes an accomplice responsible for any death that occurs during the commission of a felony crime, including the assailant.
What makes this trial so interesting is that the presiding judge inthe first trial was Judge Cook of Belleville, who was under federal investigation for his heroin use by the FBI. Judge Cook’s heroin was being supplied by a probation officer for years.
Judge Cook, pleaded guilty to federal charges of heroin possession and possession of firearms and was sentenced to two years in a federal prison camp.
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