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With a final conviction, B-N finds resolution in historic year of violence

Jordyn Thornton
David Proeber
The Pantagraph (Pool)
Jordyn Thornton, left, arrives for the verdict in his trial for the 2018 killing of Trevonte Kirkwood, at the McLean County Law and Justice Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Thornton was convicted of murder.

The year 2018 was a particularly violent one in Bloomington-Normal. The community saw 11 homicides and two mass shooting incidents. Area law enforcement today is acknowledging an end of sorts to that grim chapter.

A jury last week convicted Jordyn Thornton of the 2018 murder of Trevonte Kirkwood. In a joint statement released today, McLean County law enforcement agencies said with Thornton's conviction, guilty verdicts have now been secured in all of the 2018 homicide cases.

“At every turn, the women and men charged with finding those responsible and bringing them to justice were up to the task,” read the statement. “Through thousands of hours of relentless work, our police departments solved every case.”

The statement went on to thank members of local law enforcement agencies as well as community members. “Without a number of brave citizens who came forward to describe what they witnessed when these violent events took place, it would be even harder to hold those responsible accountable.”

McLean County State’s Attorney Don Knapp and his office were praised by top cops in Bloomington-Normal for “collaborative efforts” in securing the convictions.

Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner said holding people responsible for violent acts increases public safety.

Jamal Simington, police chief in Bloomington, echoed those sentiments, saying, “Prosecutorial diligence is evident and a difference-maker in the safety of the Bloomington-Normal community.”

Knapp is running for 11th district judicial circuit court judge in June.

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