ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It’s going to be decades before the man convicted of the Marie’s Pizza shooting gets out of prison.
Lamar Coates was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the robbery of Marie’s Pizza and death of his half-brother Michael Sago Junior. However, before learning his sentence, we heard from Coates for the first time.
“I’m sorry, I wish this never would have happened and everything would be different. I’d like to thank my family for all their love and supporting me for everything. It’s been kind of hard because I lost my brother.”
We also heard from Coates’ family who said the 24-year-old grew up in a good home with good morals and values. His mother said she doesn’t know where Coates went wrong. That’s after we heard testimony yesterday about Coates’ criminal record leading up to the October 2011 shooting at Marie’s Pizza. His half-brother, Michael Sago Junior was killed during the botched robbery attempt. His mother says Coates’ actions that night affected the entire family.
“It’s been the worst thing I’ve ever been through in my whole entire life, losing my son. I could have lost both my sons that night. I can’t even describe how I feel. It’s nothing you can explain to bury your child,” said Coates’ mother, Torona Wainwright.
“He’s without excuse. He was given opportunities by the court to rehabilitate himself and he made a decision that night to commit this violent crime,” said Winnebago County Deputy State’s Attorney, Marilyn Hite-Ross.
During the sentencing Judge Pumilia said he believes Coates’ can change his ways but said according to Coates’ family. He’s ignored all help to stay on the right track.
The judge called the actions of the owner of Marie’s Pizza and the off-duty cop who actually shot Sago during the robbery heroic. The store’s owner, Vince Terrara was the one who grabbed Coates’ gun and kept his finger behind the trigger so Coates couldn’t shoot. After Pobjecky shot the suspects he then kept Coates alive until the paramedics got there.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The man involved in an armed robbery gone wrong has learned his fate.
Lamar Coates, the man found guilty of murder and attempted armed robbery in the death of 16-year-old Michael Sago, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Coates, Sago, and two others were robbing Marie’s Pizza in October 2011 when Sago was shot and killed by an off-duty Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy. During the hearing yesterday, prosecutors called 6 witnesses, focusing on Coates’ criminal record. Coates faced 20-60 years in prison.
We will continue to update you as we learn more and we will have local reaction tonight on the 23 News at 5.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Lamar Coates will have to wait another day to learn his sentence for the murder of his half brother Michael Sago Jr.
The sentencing hearing will pick back up again Tuesday morning.
Coates faces 20 to 60 years for the murder that happened at Marie's Pizza in October 2011. Monday's hearing was filled with testimony from Rockford police officers and detectives who responded to other incidents involving Coats. As prosecutors argued Coates deserves a long sentence in part due to his lengthy criminal history.
In May Coates was convicted of Sago's death even though he didn't pull the trigger. He was robbing Marie's Pizza with Sago when he was shot and killed.
Desmond Bellman and Brandon Sago are also accused in that botched armed robbery. Their cases have not yet gone to trial.