CHICAGO (CBS) – A man who has spent his life traumatized by witnessing the murder of his 5-year-old brother was sentenced to 71 years in prison Monday, for killing his aunt’s boyfriend at a family barbecue in March 2006.
Cook County Judge Thomas Hennelly sentenced Derrick Lemon, now 24, for the murder of Ilya Glover. Hennelly sentenced Lemon to 46 years for first-degree murder and added 25 years, to be served consecutively, for fatally discharging a firearm.
The sentence will have to be served in full, meaning Lemon, who has spent a little over a year in custody awaiting trial, wouldn’t be eligible for release until 2081, by which time he would be 94 years old.
Sixteen years ago when he was a boy of 9, Lemon sat on a phone book in Cook County Juvenile Court, to testify about how he’d watched in horror as two young boys threw his 5-year-old brother, Eric Morse, to his death from a 14th-floor window an Ida B. Wells housing project building at 3833 S. Langley Ave., recounting how he’d tried in vain to run down all 14 flights in time to catch his little brother.
Eric was also stabbed and Maced before he was dropped from the windwow, according to published reports.
The youths who killed Morse, Jesse Rankins and Tykeece Johnson, were both sent to juvenile detention facilities. They have since been released.
Prosecutors said Lemon has gone on to lead a life of crime.
At a hearing last month, Glover’s family urged Hennelly to impose a tough sentence. In a statement to Lemon, Glover’s daughter, Crystal, wrote: “You know how it feels to lose a loved one, and you still committed this crime.”
On Monday, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Andreana Turano said Glover’s family was pleased with the sentence.
“Mr. Glover’s mother just passed away,” Turano said, “but she’ll be looking down from above today.”
The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire