UPDATE: Man Sentenced After Pleading Guilty to Murder in Marie's Pizza Shooting Death

By: WIFR Newsroom
By: WIFR Newsroom

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The 25-year-old who admitted to his part in a botched robbery at Marie's Pizza that killed his 16-year-old accomplice says he regrets his actions that day back in 2011. Today Desmond Bellmon learned he'll have the next 20 years in prison to think about his mistakes.

"People that know Desmond know that this is not his character. You know, they know this is not what he do," Elaine Eubanks, Bellmon’s mom, said.

Eubanks says her son deserves to be locked up for murder.

"I think it was justifiable for the crime they committed. It's just all together bad. It's just all together bad. Four young men have lost their lives for nothing," she said.

Desmond Bellmon was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison for his role in the 2011 Marie's Pizza shooting. He's convicted of killing Michael Sago, Jr., the teen was shot and killed by an off-duty Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy while attempting to rob the business with Bellmon and two other men.

Judge Gary Pumilia called the case sad and tragic for everyone involved.

"Michael lost his life, and you lost 20 years of yours, and that's not to say anything about the other people, the victims," Judge Pumilia said.

Now as Bellmon walks out of court he knows what he's walking into. Eubanks says her son plans to use the next two decades to turn his life around.

"He's going to go in and start school as soon as possible and just, you know, try to empower hisself while he's there," Eubanks said.

When he gets out Bellmon will have a lot of responsibility. He's the father to two young boys and also promised he'd take care of Lamar Coates kids. Coates, who also took part in the robbery, is serving 40 years for Sago's death.

Brandon Sago, the final person involved in the botched robbery was convicted of murder on Friday. His sentencing is set for December 27.


UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – One of the four men involved in the 2011 Marie’s Pizza shooting will spend the next 20 years in prison. Desmond Bellmon learned his fate today as his mother sat in the courtroom in tears.

During today’s sentencing Judge Gary Pumilia called the situation sad and tragic for 16-year-old Michael Sago Jr. who was killed, but also for the victims and Bellmon and the two others convicted of Sago Jr.’s murder.

The judge sentenced Bellmon to 20 years in prison for the charge of felony attempted armed robbery. Bellmon was the only one to take a plea deal. He did that in exchange for testimony in Brandon Sago’s trial.

His mom says Bellmon is now going to try to make the best out of his 20 years in prison.

“He’s going to go in and start school as soon as possible and just, you know, try to empower himself while he’s there,” said Bellmon’s mom, Elaine Eubanks.

Bellmon’s best friend, Lamar Coates was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Brandon Sago will be sentenced on December 27th.

When we talked to Eubanks, she was upset that her son was going to prison for 20 years, but said it’s fair considering his role in the crime.


WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- 25-year-old Desmond Bellmon pled guilty to First Degree Murder on November 7, 2013.

Police say that on October 1, 2011, Bellmon along with Lamar Coates, Brandon Sago, and Michael Sago Jr. entered the Marie’s Pizza restaurant armed with a gun and demanded money from the owner and others inside the restaurant. During the incident, Michael Sago Jr. was killed by an off-duty Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy.

The sentencing range for First Degree Murder is 20-60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The sentencing court date is scheduled for December 9, 2013.

Earlier this year, 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.


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