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Bruce Murder Trial Opens Monday

Decatur suspects
Bloomington Police Department
Anthony Grampsas, left, was convicted of murder in July. Tyjuan Bruce's trial begins Monday.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday for one of three Decatur men linked to the December 2018 shooting death of Egerton Dover in Bloomington.

Tyjuan Bruce, 21, is charged with murder, home invasion, residential burglary and armed robbery in the death of the 20-yeaar-old victim. Authorities contend Bruce and Curtis Hairston Jr. were driven to Dover’s apartment by Anthony Grampsas for a drug-related robbery. Grampsas was convicted of murder in July; Hairston died in a separate shooting in Decatur in January 2019.

Much of the evidence presented to jurors in the Grampsas case is expected to be brought back to the courtroom for the Bruce trial. Jurors in the July trial heard from a string of witnesses who attended a gathering at a Normal apartment complex where Dover allegedly talked about marijuana he obtained in Champaign. The victim’s reluctance to share the drugs may have fueled plans by the three suspects to rob him later in the evening, according to police.

Hairston may have been the trigger man during the robbery effort, according to witness statements, but Bruce and Grampsas played critical roles in the murder. Bruce allegedly showed off an expensive belt after the shooting – “a trophy” he secured during the robbery, prosecutors told jurors in July.

McLean County public defender Mark Messman will represent Bruce during the trial that is expected to last about a week.

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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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