Rockford man sentenced to 35 years for 2008 murder
Online Staff Report
Chad Bennett, 22, was sentenced to a total of 35 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the offense of first-degree murder after a sentencing hearing Jan. 23. Bennett pled guilty Oct. 27, 2011, in front of Judge John Truitt.
July 5, 2008, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police were dispatched to Superior Avenue in Machesney Park, where Nikolas Black was found shot and killed.
Witnesses indicated the car Black was riding in was approached by people who had gotten out of another vehicle and were shouting gang slogans.
Black got out of the car to confront the people who ran up on the car he was in and was shot. Neither Black nor any of the other occupants of the car he was in were gang members. The suspects fled the area in an older-model white car with a taillight that was not working.
Through investigation, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police located the owner of the vehicle that had fled the scene. Detectives interviewed occupants of the vehicle and discovered passengers of that car had a disagreement with a member of a gang. When the occupants saw the car Black was in, they thought it was the person they were looking for, and the occupants got out of the car and ran up on the car Black was in, at which time Black was shot and killed. These witnesses said Bennett was with them when they went to fight the member of a rival gang. These witnesses identified Bennett as the person who shot and killed Black.
First-degree murder is a class M felony that has a sentencing range of 20 to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Truth in sentencing applies, and the defendant will have to serve 100 percent of the sentence.
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