Listen to this article

DANVILLE — A Danville teen will have to spend at least six years and 10 months behind bars for stabbing a man to death with a steak knife during a large fight more than two years ago at the Fair Oaks.

On Thursday, Vermilion County Circuit Judge Nancy Fahey sentenced Malika Anthony, 17, to 20 years in prison for second-degree murder in the May 30, 2017, fatal stabbing of Kuron Kimmons at the public housing complex.

Anthony must serve at least 50 percent of her sentence. She was also given credit for 1,115 days, or a little more than three years, served — 770 days for time spent at the county’s juvenile detention center and the remainder for having earned her high school diploma while held there.

After her release from prison, Anthony must serve two years of parole.

“I think it was a fair sentence based upon the age of the defendant and the facts and circumstances of the case,” State’s Attorney Jacqueline Lacy said after the hearing.

Mr. Kimmons, 43, of Danville, was killed during a fight that broke out in the 900 block of Campbell Lane as the 2017 Memorial Day weekend was winding down.

Surveillance from Danville Housing Authority security cameras showed a group of people — including Anthony, her sister Ronesha E. Pettis, their brother Ronald R. Pettis and Marcus D. Jefferson — descending upon Fair Oaks resident LewShawn Clark, her son Chauncey and her boyfriend at the time. Mr. Kimmons, Clark’s ex-boyfriend, was also nearby.

According to testimony at the trial of Ronald Pettis — who was originally charged with murder and mob action but acquitted of the more-serious charge — the fight stemmed from an earlier argument between Anthony and Clark’s teenage daughter.

The video showed Ronesha Pettis grabbing Clark and throwing her to the ground, Mr. Kimmons pulling the woman off of Clark and Anthony stabbing him in the back.

Anthony, who was 15 at the time of the stabbing, was originally charged as an adult with five counts of first-degree murder and one count of mob action. However, she pleaded guilty in late April to second-degree murder and agreed to take the 20-year term.

At the time of her plea, Lacy said the teen believed she was acting in self-defense of her sister, but her belief was unreasonable.

In April, Ronesha Pettis, 27 — who was originally charged with murder, aggravated battery and mob action — pleaded guilty to attempted armed violence and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She must serve at least 50 percent of the sentence and two years of parole.

Ronald Pettis, 25, was sentenced to five years in prison in July 2018.

Two months later, Jefferson, 25 — also originally charged with murder, aggravated battery and mob action — pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Reporter

Noelle McGee is a Danville-based reporter at The News-Gazette. Her email is nmcgee@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@n_mcgee).