Judge rules on some counts in Marie's Pizza shooting - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Judge rules on some counts in Marie's Pizza shooting


A judge finds one of the men, charged in the Marie's Pizza murder not guilty on several of the charges he faces.

Lamar Coates is on trial and faces felony murder charges.  Police say Coates, Desmond Bellmon, Brandon Sago and Michael Sago went to Marie's Pizza on Charles Street in Rockford to rob it in October of 2011.  All four men were shot, Michael Sago was killed.  Police say Coates, Bellmon and Sago are responsible because they were committing an armed robbery at the time.

Off-duty Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy Frank Pobjecky stopped the robbery.  On the stand, Pobjecky testified that the four planned to kill the man who owns the pizza place, Vince Tarara.  He said Coates pointed a gun at both Tarara and himself so the officer grabbed Tarara's gun and shot them.

Coates' attorneys asked for a directed verdict on several of the counts he faces.  There are several for the attempted murder of Pobjecky and for the attempted murder of Tarara.   A judge ruled that Coates is not responsible for the attempted murder of the off-duty officer. However, he still faces 11 other counts, including felony murder.

We'll have more on what happened in court tonight on 13 News at 5 & 6.

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