Man enters Alford plea in fatal Silvis shooting

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 2:57 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND Co, Ill. (KWQC) - A Silvis man entered an Alford plea Monday in connection with the fatal shooting of a Silvis man in May 2021.

Cordell O. Thomas, 20, who initially faced a first-degree murder charge, entered the plea to second-degree murder, a Class 1 felony, in Rock Island County Circuit Court.

In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that prosecutors likely have enough evidence to win a conviction at trial.

He will be sentenced on Oct. 25. He remains free after posting 10% of a $200,000 bond in August 2021, court records show.

Silvis police responded around 4:45 p.m. May 28, 2021, to a report of gunfire in the 1400 block of 11th Street.

According to an affidavit filed in support of a search warrant:

Officers learned Thomas had shot an intruder and was still in possession of a firearm which he had placed on the front steps of the home.

Officers found Daniel K. Akoli, 29, lying in the front yard with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He later died from his injury.

A single casing was found at the bottom of the stairs.

A witness said he recorded the incident on his cell phone. The video showed Akoli standing in the front doorway of the home and Thomas telling him to leave at gunpoint.

The video showed him continuing to tell Akoli to leave before firing a single shot. The video also showed Thomas advancing to the doorway as Akoli walked away from the doorway and into the yard.

Officers learned Thomas had previously called Silvis police in April 2021 regarding a physical fight between them at Thomas’ home. In that investigation, Thomas alleged Akoli bit him and struck him in the lip.

Akoli was issued a trespass warning from the property and charged with battery, according to the affidavit.

In a motion to reduce his bond filed in June 2021, Thomas claimed he acted in self-defense.

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