Rockford man sentenced to 23 years for murder, robbery


Staff Report

A Rockford man will spend 23 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and robbery, Winnebago  County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato announced Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Damien Ponius, 20, pleaded guilty in front of Judge John Truitt to charges related to a shooting that left Bryan Hancock, of Rockford, dead at a west Rockford business.

August 2011, police were called to the business after reports of a possible shooting. When officers arrived at the scene, they found Hancock, lying face down in the parking lot. Hancock was taken to the hospital, where he died.

Detectives say Ponius got into an argument with Hancock when Ponius pulled out a gun and started shooting.

Ponius was given 20 years for second-degree murder and three years for robbery. The sentences will run consecutively.

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