Anthony Grampsas was convicted of murder Thursday in the December 2018 shooting death of Egerton Dover in Bloomington.
The jury deliberated about eight hours over two days before returning the verdicts, finding the 20-year-old Decatur man guilty of murder and home invasion. The jury acquitted Grampsas of murder during the commission of a robbery and of robbery.
Authorities claim Grampsas drove two other men to Dover’s home in the 800 block of West Jefferson Street where they intended to steal money and drugs. Tyjuan Bruce, 21, and Curtis Hairston, 18, went into Dover’s apartment, according to police. Hairston died in a separate shooting in January 2019. Bruce’s murder trial is set to begin Aug. 10.
Several witnesses in the eight-day trial said Dover, 20, was targeted after he declined to share marijuana with a group who had gathered at a woman’s apartment at Lancaster Heights in Normal on Dec. 4, 2018.
Defense lawyer Steve Skelton argued Grampsas was at another location several blocks away when the shooting occurred.
After the verdicts, Skelton said, “I’m sorely disappointed in the results reached by the jury.”
The veteran defense lawyer theorized that the jury’s decision on the robbery-related counts turned on the timing of the theft of a belt, likely taken after Dover was killed. Skelton acknowledged that those acquittals will have little impact on the consequences Grampsas faces at a Sept. 11 sentencing hearing where he could receive a minimum of 35 years. The sentencing range includes a minimum of 20 years for murder and 15 years for the use of a firearm during the offense.
In his closing remarks Wednesday, Skelton suggested things went wrong during the robbery attempt.
“I surmise that whatever happened in there got out of hand really quickly, going from ridiculously bad to off the charts,” said Skelton, “and then they left.”
Dover’s body was found in the kitchen of his apartment. A bloody crime scene indicated the victim was shot in his bedroom where police found two bags of marijuana and Dover’s wallet.
Prosecutor Tammara Wagoner argued that the state’s felony murder law allows a person to be charged with murder if they aid or assist in a forcible felony that results in a death. Grampsas, she said, was equally accountable for the shooting, even though his role may have been limited to driving two others to the apartment.
"Our focus at the moment is on comforting the victim’s family," said McLean County State's Attorney Don Knapp. "With charges still pending against Mr. Bruce, we decline to make any further comment."
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