Chicago man gets 60 years for 2007 Douglas crime spree

Chicago man gets 60 years for 2007 Douglas crime spree

DECATUR — The second of two men involved in a Douglas County crime spree that left the county’s chief deputy dead in 2007 has been sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Macon County Judge Tim Steadman sentenced Yusef Brown, 26, of Chicago, to 30 years in prison for home invasion and 30 years for aggravated kidnapping.

Brown pleaded guilty to those charges in September for crimes that occurred on June 21, 2007. In return, Douglas County State’s Attorney Kevin Nolan agreed to dismiss charges alleging that Brown was repsonsible for the first-degree murder of Douglas County Chief Deputy Tommy K. Martin.

Mr. Martin, 59, of Tuscola, died July 17, 2007, of injuries he sustained from being shot that day as he tried to get to the scene of a home invasion in rural Villa Grove.
Brown’s co-defendant, William B. Thompson, 29, also of Chicago, pleaded guilty a year ago to Mr. Martin’s murder and was sentenced to natural life in prison.

Brown admitted that on that June day he participated in forcing his way into the Villa Grove home of the late Ryan Riddell. There, Riddell, his friend, Jeremy Shunk, and later, Betsy Orwick, were tied up. Shunk was forced into the trunk of a car on the property.

Brown left in Orwick’s van and Thompson in Riddell’s pickup truck, encountering Mr. Martin as he drove east on the Hayes Road between Tuscola and Villa Grove to get to Riddell’s house. That’s where he was shot. Thompson abandoned the truck and got in the van with Brown.

As police pursued the van, Thompson fired shots at them, at least one of which went through a state trooper’s windshield and into the back seat.

The pair was ultimately arrested in Arcola, where Thompson had run into a bank and held employees hostage for several hours.

Attorneys for Brown and Thompson argued that both men had long histories of substance abuse.
Both also had prior criminal convictions.