Macomb house party shooting details come out, suspect pleads guilty to amended charges
MACOMB (WGEM) - The 26-year-old charged in connection to a house party shooting that left one dead and 10 others injured now faces between 4 and 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to amended charges Wednesday afternoon.
Demond Wilson Jr., of Calumet Park, Illinois, originally was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated battery with a firearm and two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm.
The amended charge by the state is one count of second-degree murder. All other charges are dropped.
McDonough County Assistant State’s Attorney Susan Maxwell said, had the case gone to trial, Detective Jordan Hawes with the Macomb Police Dept. would have testified that upon arrival, a number of people were at the residence at 533 N. Johnson St. Maxwell said it can be estimated that between 150 to 200 people were present at or just before the time the initial shots were fired.
Maxwell said numerous individuals were found in the home with gunshot wounds, and Wilson was one of them. She said a gun was located in the kitchen, which was legally purchased by Wilson, and the shell casings found in the home were forensically linked to that gun.
Maxwell said Beathea was shot six times and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Wilson was shot four times in the abdomen and once in the wrist and was later transferred to OSF Hospital in Peoria.
Maxwell said detectives interviewed more than 70 witnesses. The shooting is said to have been the result of an altercation. Maxwell said detectives obtained a Snapchat video from the party that shows an altercation, followed by someone saying, “He has a gun.”
A front door camera, Maxwell said, revealed several people leaving the residence approximately two minutes before 15 rapid shots were fired.
Det. Hawes traveled to OSF to interview Wilson. There, Maxwell said Wilson admitted having a gun but didn’t remember shooting it.
Gunshot residue (GSR) testing was done and Wilson, and results came back positive that Wilson had either fired a gun or been around someone who did. Maxwell said both Wilson and Beathea had a valid Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID) and a concealed carry permit. GSR was also found on Beathea, and his DNA was found on an ammunition magazine found in the home, but a gun was not.
McDonough County State’s Attorney Matt Kwacala said he believes Wilson fired first, thus the charges in the first place.
In court, Maxwell said Wilson thought his safety was in jeopardy, which elicited the need for gunfire.
Wilson will be sentenced on Jan. 10. His attorney, Monmouth, Ill.-based lawyer Scott McClintock said he imagines the sentencing to last a full day. Kwacala said both the state and the defense could call witnesses. Had the case gone to trial, the state would have called witnesses who were at the house party in the early morning hours of March 25.
Second-degree murder is a Class 1 felony and is punishable by 4 to 20 years in the Illinois Dept. of Corrections.
Wilson waived his right to a jury trial one week ago.
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