The court says a Rockford man may not have pulled the trigger but he's still guilty of murder. A judge ruled just because Lamont Cole did not fire the shot that killed Charles Spivey he just as guilty as the man who did.
"The court finds the state has met its burden beyond a reasonable doubt," says Judge Ron White as he reads in Cole's guilty verdict.
Prosecutors argued from the beginning Cole was accountable for the actions that led to Spivey's death. Cole went to a party in January 2011 on Sherman Avenue in Rockford. The judge believes Cole, Antwan Maxey and Clifford Horton were armed with guns and shot at a crowd as people tried to escape the violence. The judge says he believes Maxey's bullet killed Spivey but Cole's actions helped lead to his death.
"This is a case of accountability of Lamont Cole for the acts of Antwan Maxey and Clifford Horton," says Judge White
Spivey's mother was lost for words as she heard the verdict.
"Sad, I don't know what to say," says Annie Spivey.
"Two families is torn now. It's not just our family torn apart now, of course Cole's family torn apart also," says Alexandria Spivey, Charles Spivey's sister.
The defense says it plans to file a motion for a new trial. Cole is scheduled to be sentenced February 8th.
Antwan Maxey's murder charges were dismissed because his constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated so he cannot be tried for Spivey's death. He is currently in jail on a different charge. The third defendant Clifford Horton was also in court Thursday on a status hearing. He's still awaiting trial.
The verdict is in for one of the men accused of killing Charles Spivey in 2011.
Lamont Cole has been found guilty on all but one of the counts he was charged with. A judge says he fired shots into a crowd during a party on Sherman Avenue in January 2011. Spivey was killed and four others injured. Cole will be sentenced on first degree murder charges. The only count he was found not guilty of was possession of a firearm by a gang member.
Prosecutors claim that although Cole did not fire that shot that killed Spivey, his actions contributed to his death. However, the defense says Cole could not have contributed to Spivey's death because he was not at the party. They claim no witnesses were able to identify Cole out of a lineup and the only person that did put Cole at the scene was a relative of Spivey's that came forward days later.
Antwan Maxey, the man accused of firing the shot that killed Spivey, had his case thrown out after a judge ruled his constitutional rights to a speedy trial were violated. The other man accused in the shooting, Clifford Horton, has pleaded not guilty and is still awaiting trial.
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