Grand jury rules officer justified in Marie's Pizza shootings - – Rockford’s News Leader

Grand jury rules officer justified in Marie's Pizza shootings

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Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato releases news details from a Winnebago County grand jury related to the officer-involved shootings during a pizza restaurant armed robbery.

Bruscato says the grand jury found Winnebago County Sheriff's Department says Deputy Frank Pobjecky was justified in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Michael Sago and the three other suspects in the robbery, Brandon Sago, 22; Desmond Bellmon, 23; and Lamar Coates, 23. Bruscato says he agrees with the grand jury's findings.

The grand jury also ruled that the owner of the pizza restaurant did not violate any gun laws in the case, because he did have a valid FOID card and he had the weapon at his business.

The grand jury also returned a 21-count indictment against the three surviving suspects. They are charged with eight counts of first degree murder, two counts of attempted first degree murder, four counts of armed robbery, and four counts of attempted armed robbery, three counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery (one count for each defendant), six counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (two counts for each defendant), three counts of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon (one count for each defendant), and three counts of mob action (one count for each defendant).

Brandon Sago and Desmond Bellmon are both being held in the Winnebago County Jail without bond. They are due in court October 27.

Lamar Coates is due to be released from a hospital in Madison, Wisconsin and will be arrested in Dane County. The extradition process is underway to bring him back to Rockford.

Deputy Pobjecky, 29, was inside Marie's Pizza, 1513 Charles Street, as a customer when the four suspects tried to rob the owner. The investigation shows Deputy Pobjecky got involved in a struggle for a weapon with the suspects during the robbery attempt and that's when Sago was shot and killed. The three other suspects were also shot by Deputy Pobjecky.

Autopsy results released by the Winnebago County Coroner's office show Michael Sago died of multiple gun shot wounds.

Following the grand jury ruling, the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department says it agrees with the findings and that Deputy Pobjecky had no opportunity to react differently or use any other alternative action based on the actions of the four suspects. The department says Deputy Pobjecky will be reinstated to his normal working assignment.

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