Two men twice convicted of murdering a woman in North Chicago are set to be released after the state’s attorney’s office allowed them to plead guilty to burglary and dropped their murder charges.
A spokesperson for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office said the plea deals were reached Thursday following “extensive plea negotiations with the defendant’s attorneys” and “numerous discussions with the victim’s family and the investigators involved.”
William S. Fillyaw, 44, of North Chicago, and Johnny C. Parker, 38, of Chicago, were both convicted of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder during an April 2009 trial.
Lasondra Shaw, Lebraun Graham, Ernest Hughes and two others were at Shaw’s apartment in the 900 block of 13th Street in North Chicago on June 29, 2007.
Two men, one armed with a shotgun and the other armed with a pistol, broke through the front door of the apartment and began to open fire, prosecutors said.
Shaw was killed and Graham and Hughes were both seriously injured. The two others were uninjured.
During the 2009 trial, a jury convicted Fillyaw and Parker in the incident.
Both men were each sentenced to 75 years in prison for Shaw’s murder and the attempted murders of Hughes and Graham.
Fillyaw and Parker later filed appeals with the Illinois Second District Appellate Court.
The appeals court ruled that Fillyaw’s attorney was ineffective due to him being unfamiliar with certain laws and because he failed to object to a witness statement being admitted at trial.
The appeals court also found that Parker’s constitutional rights were violated by the admission of a witness statement and due to him being tried before a single jury where the prosecution repeatedly relied on Fillyaw’s statement inculpating Parker.
As a result, the Illinois Second District Appellate Court reversed the convictions against Parker and Fillyaw in 2011 and ordered a new trial.
The retrial took place in January 2015 and two separate juries convicted both men of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Lake County Judge Mark Levitt sentenced Fillyaw to 100 years in prison and Parker to 75 years in prison.