- Associated Press - Friday, September 30, 2016

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - A 20-year-old Urbana man who fatally shot his friend last year as he was firing at someone else will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis sentenced Kyjuan Dorsey to 55 years in prison for killing Jeremy O’Neal and 25 years for wounding Marquise Burnett.

“How many times does this court have to sentence young men over and over again to the rest of their lives in prison? It’s an absolute tragedy,” Difanis said when handing down the sentence Thursday.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2d0ZxJh ) reported that prosecutors at Dorsey’s trial said he, O’Neal and another friend, 20-year-old Demetrius Lane, were riding in a car on the evening of Oct. 19, 2015, when Dorsey fired at a man on the street from the back seat.

Gunshots were exchanged, which led Lane to crash the car into another vehicle, prosecutors said. Dorsey then inadvertently shot O’Neal, who was the front-seat passenger, in the back of the head - a close-range shot that killed the 18-year-old instantly.

During the gunfire, Burnett, who was 19 at the time, was shot in the leg. The trial also revealed Dorsey’s target in the shooting was Burnett’s brother, 22-year-old Mark Washington.

George Vargas, the assistant public defender representing Dorsey, said his client lacked positive male role models while growing up.

“He’s a 20-year-old raised by wolves,” said Vargas, who presented no mitigating evidence on behalf of Dorsey. “There is nobody watching over him. He did not come from a stable home. I’m not making excuses for him.”

Dorsey must serve all 55 years for the murder conviction and at least 21 years for aggravated battery with a firearm.


Information from: The News-Gazette, https://www.news-gazette.com

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