Murder trial ends with guilty verdict, charges of perjury and harassment of witnesses

News-DemocratNovember 7, 2013 

— A guilty verdict in the shooting death of Dantavier Thompson was accompanied by charges of perjury and witness tampering in Madison County.

Marcus Baldwin, 22, was found guilty Thursday of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm in the death of Thompson, who was shot and killed near Lovejoy Elementary School in Alton on July 28, 2012.

Since the shooting was near a school, the firearm charge is a Class X felony. State's Attorney spokeswoman Stephanee Smith said Baldwin could face 20 to 60 years in prison on the murder charge and six to 30 years on the firearms charges.

But two people who testified in the case have been charged with perjury and accused of lying on the stand about the shooting, and another person has been charged with harassment of a witness.

Dearron Price and Montinez Knight, both of Alton, had allegedly told police that Baldwin fired the shots that killed Thompson near the Lovejoy playground. But when they testified Wednesday, both men said they did not see the shooting.

The perjury charge is a Class 3 felony. Both men are currently in custody at the Madison County Jail on bail of $75,000 each.

Demarcus Taylor, 32, of Alton has been charged with harassing Jordaun Stiff, a witness in the murder trial, in an attempt to influence his testimony. The charge is a Class 2 felony. Taylor is not yet in custody, and his bail has been set at $100,000.

If convicted of perjury, Price and Knight could serve two to five years in prison each. If convicted of harassing a witness, Taylor could serve three to seven years in prison.

Baldwin will be sentenced within 60 to 90 days, Smith said.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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