Knox County Circuit Court Judge Scott Shipplett Friday sentenced 26-year-old Kai Lefler to 50 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, 5 years for Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, and 4 years for Attempted Burglary. The sentences will be served concurrently. Lefler was given credit for 411 days served in the Knox County Jail, and must serve 100 percent of his sentence.
Lefler was arrested for the January 20, 2013 stabbing death of Robert Kilgore outside his Chestnut Street home. Lefler, prosecutors believe, was trying to break into Kilgore’s parked
car, and when Kilgore went to confront Lefler, the two got into an altercation, and Lefler stabbed Kilgore multiple times.
Lefler apologized in court today, saying he knows God will accept his apology. He also urged people not to hold a grudge against him or his family.
In sentencing Lefler, Shipplett said that the defendant has had “quite the criminal career” and that Lefler was continuing to go down an “evil path” — disregarding things like court-ordered supervision and other parts of sentences from previous criminal acts.
Prosecutors asked for 55 years in prison, while defense attorney Virgil Thurman asked for the minimum 20 year prison sentence. Lefler could have received between 20 and 60 years in prison.
Thurman was unavailable for comment after the sentencing, while Knox County State’s Attorney John Pepmeyer said he was pleased, and that justice was served.
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