UPDATE: Jury finds Jamie Spates guilty on all charges

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Updated: March 29, 2018 5:10 p.m.

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- A jury returns a verdict just hours after the conclusion of closing arguments in the murder trial against 41-year-old Jamie Spates.

Spates was found guilty on four counts of first degree murder as well as mob action. He is one of two men charged in the October 5, 2017 death of 27-year-old Isaiah Starks.

Detectives from Rockford's Violent Crimes Unit say Spates was taken into custody hours after the shooting in the 300 block of Cole Ave.

According to witness testimony from Starks' girlfriend, Dominique Martin, he was involved in a fight with Spates and his older brother, 47-year-old Marcus Spates. She says Starks was arguing with the brothers about a break-in at his home the day before.

The trial for Marcus Spates has been postponed, a new date has not yet been set. He faces 12 counts of first degree murder.

"Jamie and Marcus Spates acted together as a team, as a crew", said Assistant State's Attorney Steven Getty. "This defendant acted illegally with Marcus Spates as a team".

A sentencing date for Jamie Spates has not yet been announced.


Updated: March 27, 2018 5:16 p.m.

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Opening statements and witness testimony begins Tuesday morning in the murder trial against 41-year-old Jamie Spates. Spates is one of two men charged in the shooting death of 27-year-old Isaiah Starks.

Prosecutors say the Starks' residence was burglarized the day before the altercation and that's what led to the fright. Starks believed that Spates knew who was involved in the burglary.

The first person to take the stand during witness testimony was Starks' girlfriend, Dominque Martin. Martin says on October 5, 2017, Starks told her to go into their bedroom when he saw a car driven by Marcus Spates, the older brother of Jamie Spates, parked outside their home.

Martin says she heard a confrontation outside followed by a gunshot, but never looked out the bedroom window to see what happened. She says before the argument, their home on Cole Ave. had been burglarized. She believed the argument between Starks and Spates was over the break-in.

Martin says Starks was outside with the Spates brothers and a third person.

Martin says she saw Starks next to a vehicle after he had been shot. Says she began CPR. According to Rockford Police, Starks was taken to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

According to the defense attorney for Jamie Spates, he and Starks were involved in a physical altercation when the gun went off. In a 911 call Spates can be heard saying "I think I just shot someone". The defense attorney says Spates asked where he should turn himself in.

Prosecutors also called to the stand Anita Hall, a caretaker for a woman who lives on Cole Ave.

Hall says was running errands when she returned to the neighborhood and saw three men arguing. Hall says she quickly went inside the house. She says she then a heard a gunshot and looked outside. She says she saw someone holding a black handgun.


Updated January 12, 2018 8:45 a.m.

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- According to Winnebago County jail records, Marcus Marshawn Spates is in custody.

The 47-year-old Rockford man was booked early Thursday afternoon after turning himself in.

Spates will be in court Friday afternoon. His bond is set at $300,000.

Spates is considered innocent until proven guilty.


Updated January 11, 2018, 3:41 p.m.

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office announces charges against a 47-year-old Rockford man in connection with an October fatal shooting.

Rockford police are looking for 47-year-old Marcus Marshawn Spates, of Rockford, in connection with the murder of 27-year-old Isaiah Starks on October 5, 2017.

Investigators say Spates faces 12 counts of first-degree murder, a Class M felony.

Spates faces 20-60 years per count with the possibility of natural life followed by three years of mandatory supervised release.

Spates is innocent until proven guilty.


Updated October 6, 2017 12:15 a.m.

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - We now know the name of the Rockford man killed on Cole Avenue Thursday afternoon as well as a man in custody for the murder.

Rockford police say during the investigation into the murder of 27-year-old Isaiah Starks, they located a man they believed was involved in the incident.

Investigators took 41-year-old Jamie Spates into custody after the investigation was reviewed by the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office.

Spates is charged with first-degree murder and is being held on a two million dollar bond.


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Investigators are on scene of a deadly shooting on Rockford's southwest side.

Investigators say a 27-year-old man was shot in the 300 block of Cole Avenue around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. The man was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Rockford Police say they know of several witnesses that they believe left the scene before officers arrived.

Anyone with information is asked to call Rockford Police or Crime Stoppers.