A McLean County jury on Friday convicted Scotty Allen of murder in the shooting death of Juan Nash during an April 2019 party on Orchard Road in Bloomington.
The verdict came after about seven hours of deliberation that began late Friday morning.
Allen, 19, also was convicted of mob action and aggravated discharge of a firearm. An Aug. 28 sentencing date was set.
After the verdict were read, several family members of the defendant broke into sobs. “He’s just a baby,” one of the women said.
Responding to the verdict, State's Attorney Don Knapp said, "With the jury out more than seven hours, there is no doubt they poured over every detail in this case and we thank them for their time and service."
Knapp credited the investigative work of the Bloomington Police Department and the work of prosecutors Brad Rigdon and Aaron Fredrick in securing the convictions.
In closing arguments Friday, jurors heard two theories as to how Nash, 25, died in a hail of gang-related gunfire.
Rigdon, the first assistant state’s attorney, told jurors “the defendant was a man on a mission. His mission was vengeance. But on the street, if you can’t get to your target, you go after the family.”
The target of Allen’s alleged vengeance was Kajuan Hobson, a man Allen and members of the FMB 200 gang believed were behind the 2018 killing of Trevonte Kirkwood in Bloomington, said Rigdon.
Instead, Allen went looking for Hobson’s brother, Juan Nash, said the prosecutor.
The shooting death of a second man, Steven Alexander, also has been mentioned as a possible source for the alleged retaliation.
Nash’s death was years in the making, said Rigdon, as feuds boiled between the FMG 200 and the rival Black Disciples.
Social media posts showing Allen and others with guns before the incident, combined with statements from witnesses, point to Allen’s plan to kill Nash, said Rigdon.
In his closing remarks in the weeklong trial, defense lawyer Phil Finegan said the case was filled with reasonable doubt.
Threats and pressure leveled against witness Shawndell Wright put the veracity of his testimony in doubt, said Finegan.
Wright told BPD Detective Jered Bierbaum he relied on Allen’s past possession of guns and his aggressive demeanor to form an opinion about his role in the shooting.
Wright alleged police threatened to add obstruction of justice charges to a pending criminal case if he did not cooperate in the murder investigation.
The defense also reminded jurors that Allen, who was shot multiple times, had no gunshot residue detected on his hands after the shooting.
Nash fired 14 rounds before he managed to drive away and later crashed into a house.
Rigdon contended the firearm residue may have been removed when Allen took off his sweatshirt on route to the hospital.
Questions also exist as to who fired the rounds from at least three guns used during the incident, said Finegan.
“What evidence do we have to show who had what gun? There are questions everywhere. Everywhere,” he said.
But Rigdon asked jurors to reject Finegan’s accusations against policy.
“This is not the police did wrong. This is Scotty Allen did wrong,” said Rigdon.