Murderer sentenced to 57 years in fatal shooting near school

News-DemocratDecember 20, 2013 

A murder trial complicated by accusations of perjury and intimidating witnesses has ended with a sentence of more than 50 years.

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

Because the shooting took place near a school, the firearm charges are Class X felonies.

Baldwin was sentenced Friday to 20 years on the murder with an additional 25 years for using a gun in the killing. The gun charges carry two sentences of six years each, running consecutively with the murder sentence.

Baldwin must serve 100 percent of the murder sentence and 85 percent of the 12-year gun sentence. That's a total of 57 years, according to Stephanee Smith, spokeswoman for the Madison County State's Attorney's Office.

The same day that a jury found Baldwin guilty, the state's attorney's office filed charges of perjury against two witnesses and another person was charged with harassing a witness.

Dearron Price and Montinez Knight, both of Alton, had allegedly told police that Baldwin fired the shots that killed Thompson. But when they testified at trial, both men said they saw nothing. Perjury is a Class 3 felony that carries a sentence of 2-5 years.

Demarcus Taylor, 32, of Alton was also charged with harassing witness Jordaun Stiff. Witness tampering is a Class 2 felony that carries a sentence of 3-7 years.

All three cases are still pending in Madison County Circuit Court.

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

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