Prosecutors declined Friday to say why an eight-month investigation led to the arrest of two Central Illinois men in connection with a 2018 fatal shooting on Bloomington’s west side.
Jordyn Thornton, 19, of Bloomington, and Quentin L. Jackson, 21, of Peoria, are charged with murder in the Oct. 30 death of Trevonte Kirkwood, 27, of Bloomington. He was one of nine people slain by gun violence in Bloomington-Normal in 2018—a modern record. Until Thursday, his was the only case without an arrest.
Thornton and Jackson made brief appearances in McLean County court Friday via videoconference. A judge kept their bonds as-is: $1.5 million for Thornton, and $1 million for Jackson. They’re being held at the McLean County jail.
McLean County State’s Attorney Don Knapp declined to comment on what led authorities to charge Thornton and Jackson. The probable-cause statement used to obtain an arrest warrant for them was not made available to the media and is not part of the official court record in the case.
Sgt. Clayton Arnold with Bloomington Police’s Criminal Investigations Division said they talked to an “incredible amount of people” to piece together what happened the night of Kirkwood’s death. He declined to comment on the relationship, if any, between Kirkwood, Thornton, and Jackson.
“There is other direct evidence that will significantly show we arrested the correct people,” he said.
Evidence emerges more quickly in some cases than it does in others, he said.
“When we take a case to trial, we want to be absolutely confident about getting the conviction,” Arnold said. “We never want to jump the gun.”
Kirkwood’s mother, Dameca, attended Friday’s hearing. She praised Bloomington detectives for their work on the case.
“They went full throttle, so quietly, because they knew—no one deserves to die. But this right here was so unnecessary. They were like, ‘We’re not gonna let this happen,’” Dameca said
Dameca Kirkwood said she still has questions about her son’s death. She said her family knew Thornton’s and Jackson’s families in various ways. They even spent holidays with the Jacksons years ago, she said. She said police told her Trevonte was killed because of “envy.”
“I understand that patience is a virtue,” she said. “I never lost hope.”
Thornton and Jackson are due back in court for arraignment on June 21.
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