UPDATE: Jury delivers verdict in Marie's Pizza murder trial - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

UPDATE: Jury delivers verdict in Marie's Pizza murder trial


The jury has delivered its verdict in the Marie's Pizza murder case.  Lamar Coates has been accused of murdering his brother, Michael Sago, even though he never fired the shots that killed him.

Coates was found guilty of attempted armed robbery, mob action, two counts of felony murder, and conspiracy. He was found not guilty of the attempted murder of Marie's Pizza owner, Vince Tarara.

Prosecutors say Coates and three other men went to Marie's Pizza in Rockford on October 1, 2011 to rob the place. They pointed a gun at the owner, Vincenzo Tarara. But instead of handing over the money, Tarara went for their gun.

As the men fought over it an off-duty Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy Frank Pobjecky, who was also in the business, got a hold of another gun and shot all four suspects. Pobjecky killed 16-year-old Sago.

The prosecution argued Coates set off a chain of events that lead to Sago's death so he should be held responsible for murder. While the defense said Coates was shot, on the floor bleeding when Pobjecky killed Sago, so he's the one who really responsible.

"Clearly this murder did not occur because of Lamar Coates it occurred because of Frank Pobjecky," says Bradford Morrison, attorney for the defense.

"Essentially when you walk in there and metaphorically throw a hand grenade in there you can't be surprised when there's damage. It's that simple," says Steven Biagi, Winnebago County State's Attorney.

13 News Reporter Rebecca Klopf is at the Winnebago County Justice Center and will be live with the latest at 5 and 6.

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