Savoy man gets 64 years in third sentencing for brother's 2010 murder

Savoy man gets 64 years in third sentencing for brother's 2010 murder

URBANA — A Savoy man convicted twice of fatally shooting his brother in 2010 has been resentenced to 64 years in prison.

Brian Maggio, 49, shot and killed his 32-year-old brother Mark on July 21, 2010, at the now-closed Tolono IGA store.

In June 2011, he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 35 years. Maggio appealed his sentence, arguing that it didn't include the legislative enhancement for crimes committed when the offender fires a gun. Judge Heidi Ladd agreed, leading to a January 2015 trial in which a Champaign County jury convicted him of murder, and Ladd then sentenced him to 65 years.

Maggio appealed the second sentence to the Fourth District Appellate court, saying that Ladd improperly used his refusal to cooperate with a presentence investigation against him. The appellate court agreed, ruling that Maggio was invoking his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

At the resentencing on Thursday, First Assistant State's Attorney Steve Ziegler asked that Maggio receive a 65-year sentence.

"The defendant basically stalked and murdered his brother in a crowded grocery store," Ziegler said. "Mark Maggio was unarmed. Why the defendant did it will probably always be a mystery."

Ziegler said Maggio stalked his brother, chased him through the store and waited until the man was trapped against a door to shoot him in the back.

"There was a substantial number of other people in the store in danger as well," Ziegler added.

Public Defender Janie Miller-Jones asked that her client receive the minimum sentence of 45 years, explaining that at his current age it would amount to a life sentence.

"He was strongly provoked after a fight with his brother," she said. "His character and attitude make him unlikely to commit another crime."

The brothers were business partners in the Tolono IGA, the Arcola IGA and the Philo Country Store.

"Their relationship began to deteriorate about three years prior," Miller-Jones said, adding that the two had stopped speaking and attending family events together.

"He didn't seek out his brother," Miller-Jones said. "He didn't intend any harm against his brother."

Miller-Jones said the defendant had been to work that day, met with a fire marshal about the business in Philo, had lunch with his wife and planned a celebration for their son before returning to the Tolono store.

"He arrived to find Mark there," she said. "Brian shot only one time with a small derringer. His glasses were not on his face and had been mangled during the fight his brother started. He did not trap him against a door. Mark was running out the door and turned around, and Brian assumed he had a weapon and fired in self-defense."

Miller-Jones said Brian Maggio had the gun legally and had purchased it for protection after being robbed at gunpoint at another location.

"Everyone lost a loved one that day," Miller-Jones said. "They were still brothers. This is still something he has to live with the remainder of his days."

Maggio said that while he has been incarcerated, he has been studying law and teaching others about it so that they can help themselves.

"I'm very sorry for what happened," he said. "My decision that day destroyed everyone and everything. There can never be a remedy to fix anything."

Maggio called his act "accidental self-defense."

In imposing the third sentence Thursday, Ladd said, "This case is a tragedy. It is so unfathomable and frankly, so unjustifiable."

Ladd said there was no evidence to support Brian Maggio's claim of self-defense.

The judge noted that Brian Maggio had only four petty traffic offenses prior to the incident, was a business owner, contributed to the community and was the father of two adult children.

"He had more resources and advantages than this court usually sees," Ladd said.

Ladd said the shooting was simply the result of Brian Maggio's jealousy, insecurity and hatred for his brother.

"This is what he decided to do about it," she said. "They avoided each other and didn't like each other, and everyone knew it."

Despite the animosity between the two, Ladd said, everyone who knew the brothers was shocked by what happened.

"No one would have predicted that that would have occurred in the first place," she said.

Ladd said Brian Maggio's ability to be set off in a fury that caused him to kill made him dangerously unpredictable.

She acknowledged that at the time of the shooting, Brian Maggio was dealing with economic challenges and family problems.

"That's called life," she said.

Christine Walsh is editor of The County Star, a News-Gazette Media community newspaper. For more, visit county-star.com

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acylum wrote on October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

This is totally confusing...guy confesses and pleads guilty and gets convicted.  gets sentenced to 35 years. He appeals his own sentencing because it should be higher because he used a gun and gets 65 years?  His own lawyer appeals that and asks for 45 years, because he's too old for 65 years?  Isn't this a huge waste of money to sentence 3 times?