Man found fit to stand trial in carjacking, killing of 85-year-old Belleville woman

News-DemocratFebruary 10, 2012 

One of three defendants accused of carjacking an 85-year-old Belleville woman outside a bingo game, then setting the car ablaze with the woman in the trunk has been found fit to stand trial.

DaQuan D. Barnes, 19, was found fit by a jury on Monday.

Barnes faces first-degree murder charges in connection with the death of Belleville grandmother Yoko Cullen, along with defendants LaTosha Cunningham, 38, and DeMarcus D. Barnes, 28.

Thomas Q. Keefe, III, Cunningham's attorney, also raised concerns about her fitness to stand trial, but she was found mentally fit to stand trial in October.

Police found Cullen in the trunk of her burned out car on May 20. She had been carjacked by the three after she left the Fireman's Hall at 9510 Collinsville Road in Collinsville after she participated in a bingo game, according to police.

During her arraignment, Cunningham reacted to learning she was charged with first-degree murder by vomiting, shouting and collapsing in the courtroom in front of the judge's bench. She left the courthouse in a wheelchair pushed by a bailiff.

Cunningham has a previous conviction for robbing a 61-year-old woman of $205, then shooting her in the chest.

No court date has been set for a trial, but DaQuan Barnes has a hearing scheduled for March 21, DeMarcus Barnes on Feb. 16 and Cunningham on Tuesday.

Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at bhundsdorfer@bnd.com or 239-2570.