Updated: Men make court appearances in Danville murder cases

DANVILLE — Two Danville men on Friday made initial appearances in Vermilion County Circuit Court in connection with two separate fatal shootings earlier this year.

Kevin L. Marshall, 23, faces three counts of first-degree murder in the May 21 death of Latifah D. L. Cross, 21, of Chicago.

He also faces one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm and two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm in connection with shooting injuries caused to two men.

Danville Public Safety Director Larry Thomason said the murder investigation is still ongoing, and other arrests haven't been ruled out.

Also, Robert L. Butler, Jr., 30, faces three counts of first-degree murder in the April 13 death of Jamaal P. Sampson, 26, of Danville.

A Vermilion County grand jury indicted Marshall on all five felony counts on Aug. 29. According to the indictment, on or about May 21, Marshall "without lawful justification and knowing his acts would cause the death of Latifah D. L. Cross performed the acts which caused the death of (Ms. Cross) and "during the commission of the offense, personally discharged a firearm."

It also said that Marshall fired a weapon at or into a building "he knew or reasonably should have known to be occupied" and that he fired a weapon causing injury to Kendrick D. Sago and Termall J. Brandon.

Marshall was arrested on a warrant for the murder charges at 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

According to Thomason, police spotted Marshall in the Fair Oaks housing complex. He ran from them, but officers chased him to a residence in the 900 block of Redden Court, where he was taken into custody without further incident.

Police were patrolling the Fair Oaks area around 1 a.m. on the morning of the shooting when they heard what sounded like numerous gunshots. An officer drove to the intersection of Fairchild and Moore streets, where someone in the street told him people had been shot and directed him to a house at 912 Moore St.

When the officer arrived, he found an 18-year-old man who had been shot in the back lying on the living-room floor. The man was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, where he was treated and released.

He also found a woman lying face down in the hallway. The woman, later identified as Ms. Cross, was pronounced dead by Medix Ambulance personnel.

Ms. Cross died of a single gunshot wound.

Then, about 3:30 a.m. that morning, police got a call from the a residence in the 900 block of Campbell Street. A 24-year-old man said he was in the living room of Moore Street house at the time of the shooting, and reported that he had been shot.

Police said the man's wound was minor. He was taken to Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, where he was treated and released.

The grand jury indicted Butler on three counts of first-degree murder in Mr. Sampson's death on Aug. 29.

Butler was arrested on a murder warrant in the area of English and Franklin streets on Wednesday. He was taken into custody without incident.

On April 13, Danville police were called to a residence in the 1500 block of East Fairchild around 5 a.m. and found Sampson lying on the ground, suffering from a gunshot wound.

On Friday, a Vermilion County associate judge ordered that both Marshall and Butler be held without bond in the Danville Public Safety Building. They are scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 19.

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