Milwaukee man convicted of shooting outside mall
URBANA — A Milwaukee man convicted of shooting a Champaign man outside Market Place Mall almost a year ago faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced next month.
A Champaign County jury took 50 minutes Thursday to find Dontrell Thompson, 23, guilty of the attempted murder of Tony Brock and aggravated battery with a firearm for shooting him.
Brock, 29, of Champaign was shot on the afternoon of Sunday, May 1, 2011, by Thompson, one of six men who police said came to Champaign from Milwaukee to exact revenge on Brock for his alleged mistreatment of Marquis Thompson at a Champaign bar earlier that day.
Police said Marquis Thompson, 22, was living in Champaign and summoned help from his cousin Dontrell Thompson in Milwaukee. Marquis Thompson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated battery and was sentenced to two years of probation and some jail time.
Seven men were charged with various crimes in connection with Brock's shooting. All but one have either pleaded guilty or been convicted. The seventh, Frank Day, 24, who listed addresses in Milwaukee and Champaign, is due in court next week on charges of aggravated battery with a firearm and obstructing justice.
Assistant State's Attorney Troy Lozar called seven witnesses in the trial that began Monday, most of them Champaign police and mall security officers. Defense attorney Jim Kuehl of Urbana called no independent witnesses on Thompson's behalf.
Lozar said Brock was shot twice in the buttocks and once in the thigh. One of the bullets perforated his bowel and intestine. Another went in and out and the third remains lodged in his thigh, testimony showed.
Thompson was also shot by two Champaign officers who fired on him when he refused commands to stop shooting Brock.
He was hit in the face and shoulder and was hospitalized about 12 days.
Police were at the mall even before Dontrell Thompson began shooting Brock, having been called there by a woman who saw a vehicle with several men in it driving erratically on Interstate 74. She followed the purple Chrysler Pacifica to the mall and saw it park near the food court entrance. She saw several men get out and one of the men had a gun. After reporting that to police, she left, Lozar said.
Police were checking out the Pacifica when the first shots were fired just outside the LensCrafters store. They responded within seconds, saw Thompson firing on Brock, then fired on him.
Judge Heidi Ladd set sentencing for April 5. Because the jury made a separate finding that Thompson personally fired the gun, he faces enhanced penalties. The minimum he can receive is 31 years. The maximum is natural life.