East. Louis man sentenced for first-degree murder

For robbing and killing a man, an East St. Louis man will spend the next 35 years of his life behind bars in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

John J. Paraham, 21, pleaded guilty Friday in St. Clair County Court to first-degree murder in the killing of Abdulaziz Al-Hakim. Al-Hakim was the owner of Royale Beauty Supply Store on St. Louis Avenue in East St. Louis. He was shot and killed outside of his store in October 2013 in an attempted robbery of the store.

Paraham, while robbing Al-Hakim, struck him in the back with an unidentified object, causing his death, police said. A co-defendant in the case, Trevion Wells, is going to trial.

The murder charge against Paraham was issued by St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly. Along with East St. Louis police, the case was investigated by Illinois State Police. Circuit Judge Zina Cruse was the presiding judge.

Kelly said that “truth in sentencing applies, so Paraham will have to do 100 percent of his sentence.”

Prior to being charged in the Illinois murder, Paraham was arrested in St. Louis for armed robbery and armed criminal action. For those cases, Paraham was sentenced to 12 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Paraham will have to serve the 12 year sentence prior to serving his Illinois sentence.

Carolyn P. Smith: 618-239-2503