Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Rockford man guilty of murder in 2019 beating death

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – A Rockford man is guilty of murder in the beating death of another man on the city’s west side last year.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross reported Friday that Douglas Williams, 57, was convicted of seven-counts of first-degree murder after a jury trial in front of Judge Debra Schafter. The conviction stems from the death of 64-year-old Samuel Randolph, who was found dead in his 621 Alliance Avenue home.

“The jury found that the murder of Mr. Randolph was accompanied by exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty.” Hite Ross said in a release.

Just after 4 a.m., April 7, 2019, officers from the Rockford Police Department responded to the scene and located Randolph on the floor. A subsequent autopsy revealed he died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Williams was developed as a suspect during the follow-up investigation.

First-degree murder is a Class M felony with a maximum sentence of 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Because the crime was found to be brutal and heinous, Williams faces 20 years to life followed by three years of mandatory supervised release. Truth-in-sentencing will apply, requiring him to serve 100% of his sentence.

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