Jury convicts man of murder

Jury convicts man of murder

URBANA — A Champaign man faces 20 to 60 years in prison when sentenced next month for the September beating death of another man.

A Champaign County jury Thursday convicted Jermaine Davis, 36, whose last known local address was in the 300 block of East Park Street, of the first-degree murder of Russell Stokes, 54, of Champaign.

Testimony in Davis' jury trial, which ended Thursday in Urbana, was that he beat Mr. Stokes about the head, neck and shoulders on Sept. 16 after returning to the apartment of his girlfriend, Constance Chapple, and finding her engaged in sex with Mr. Stokes.

Mr. Stokes lost consciousness and was dragged out of the apartment at 306 E. Park St., C, by Davis and Chapple, 45. The two of them then cleaned up the apartment and the hallway.

Chapple is charged with obstructing justice and concealing a homicidal death and is scheduled to be back in court in April.

Mr. Stokes was found outside the apartment building later the morning of Sept. 16. He was taken to Carle Hospital where he died Sept. 18 without ever regaining consciousness. A forensic pathologist determined he died of blunt force trauma to his head and neck.

Judge Tom Difanis set sentencing for March 21.

Assistant state's attorneys Troy Lozar and Stephanie Weber prosecuted Davis. He was represented by Assistant Public Defender Scott Schmidt.