PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A 60-year prison sentence has been handed a central Illinois man found guilty of first-degree murder charge for a 2013 shooting that killed a Peoria man.
Cortez D. Williams of Peoria apologized to the family of his victim, Melvin Sanders. However, he refused to acknowledge he was convicted in March by a Peoria County jury. The 26-year-old Williams said he doesn’t believe he’s guilty of first-degree murder.
In handing down the verdict Friday, Judge Kevin Lyons called Williams “cocky,” “self-absorbed,” “mean” and “defiant.” Lyons also said the public needed to be protected from Williams.
The September shooting took place at the home of a woman who was holding a reception for friends and family members of her daughter, who was killed during a separate home invasion earlier that week.