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Hammet Brown Sentenced To Life In Prison For 2018 Double Murder

Hammet Brown in court
David Proeber
/
The Pantagraph (Pool)
Hammet Brown, 29, was convicted of killing Steven Alexander Jr., 18, and Taneshiea Brown, 20, during a 2018 party at an Orchard Road apartment complex in Bloomington.

Hammet Brown was sentenced to life in prison on Friday in the June 2018 shooting deaths of two people during a party in Bloomington.

Brown, 29, was convicted in February of killing Steven Alexander Jr., 18, and Taneshiea Brown, 20, both of Bloomington. Witnesses told police that Brown, who is not related to the victim who shares his surname, was involved in a dispute with Alexander over drug territory.

Kenleia Sims and Tyree Jones were wounded in the incident outside an apartment complex on Orchard Road on the city's east side.

Brown, who lived on Orchard Road, also received 62 years on two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm.

During his six-day bench trial, Brown’s lawyers argued that Brown acted in self-defense. Judge Casey Costigan rejected that claim.

In his statement to the judge on Friday, Brown renewed his self-defense claim.

“I had no other choice. I feared for my life,” said Brown, after he apologized to the victims.

Prosecutor Mary Koll called the incident a “mass shooting" worthy of a life sentence.

The judge explained that a life sentence is mandatory in Illinois in cases involving the deaths of multiple victims. Costigan denied a defense motion for a new trial argued by Brown's lawyer, Mark Zalcman.

Edith began her career as a reporter with The DeWitt County Observer, a weekly newspaper in Clinton. From 2007 to June 2019, Edith covered crime and legal issues for The Pantagraph, a daily newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois. She previously worked as a correspondent for The Pantagraph covering courts and local government issues in central Illinois.
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