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Judge rejects CHA horror in sentencing man for murder

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  • Judge rejects CHA horror in sentencing man for murder

    April 04, 2011 | By Becky Schlikerman, Chicago Tribune

    Assailant who watched brother dropped from public housing tower in 1994 gets 71 years for 2006 shooting

    April 04, 2011|By Becky Schlikerman, Tribune reporter

    Derrick Lemon, who as a boy watched as his little brother was dropped to his death from a public housing high-rise in one of Chicago's most horrific crimes, was sentenced Monday for a fatal shooting to a combined 71 years in prison.

    Cook County Judge Thomas Hennelly cited the searing experience Lemon suffered nearly two decades ago but said it didn't give him "carte blanche to act like a bully and a brute."

    "You killed Illya Glover the way someone would just swat an insect, without any recourse, without any thought whatsoever," the judge said moments before sentencing him to 46 years for first-degree murder and a mandatory consecutive 25-year prison term for a weapons offense. Lemon will serve the entire sentence, prosecutors said.

    A Criminal Court jury convicted Lemon, 24, in July of the 2006 murder of Glover, 41, who was dating an aunt of Lemon's. During an Englewood barbecue, a quarrel between Lemon and the aunt turned physical, and when Glover came to her aid, Lemon shot him to death, prosecutors said.

    Glover's sister, Gail, rejoiced at the long prison sentence, saying her brother, who was a father of five, "had a rebirth today."

    "He should have made a positive out of the negative," Gail Glover, 44, said of Lemon. "Instead he made a negative out of a negative."

    At a previous court hearing, Lemon's lawyer, Wayne Brucar, had pleaded for leniency, saying "society had forgotten" Lemon after the tragedy, but the judge disputed that characterization Monday.

    "People experience tragedy in this building every day, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and they go on with their lives," Hennelly said. "It doesn't give someone carte blanche to act like a bully and a brute and act like he's above the law."

    Lemon was 8 in 1994 when two boys dangled his brother, Eric Morse, 5, out the 14th-floor window at the Ida B. Wells public housing development. Lemon tried to save him, but one of the boys bit him on the hand, authorities said. Lemon said he ran down the stairs in the hope that he could catch his brother before he hit the ground.

    Prosecutors said Eric had refused to steal candy for Jessie Rankins, then 10, and Tykeece Johnson, 11, who were convicted of the murder and became the state's youngest inmates.

    From the NPR story:

    Derrick Lemon got more than $1 million after his family sued the Chicago Housing Authority for not securing the windows in the housing project. But even before his brother's death he had skipped school, picked fights, and ran with gangs. He was convicted of burglary when he was 18 and got probation. While awaiting trial for the murder of Illya Glover, he was arrested for threatening someone with a gun.

    Illya's sister, Gail Glover, said of Derrick Lemon, " . . . he got all this money and he could have done something . . . Instead he wanted to hang out on the corner."
    Last edited by DAL; 04-09-2011, 11:44 AM.
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

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