CHARLESTON — A Chicago man charged with shooting and killing a man at Sunrise Apartments in Mattoon was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder by a Coles County jury Friday evening.
The jury returned with this verdict on the charges against Keith McGrew, 26, at 10:28 p.m. Friday at the conclusion of a five-day trial. The jury began its deliberations at 4:18 p.m. that day following closing arguments made by the prosecution and the defense attorneys.
McGrew was charged with three counts of first-degree murder regarding the shooting death of Mark A. Currie, 29, in the early morning hours of May 17 at Sunrise Apartments, 1817 S. Ninth St.
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McGrew, of Chicago, was reportedly visiting his girlfriend at this apartment complex at the time of this incident.
Assistant Public Defender Stephanie Corum contended that McGrew was acting in self-defense in response to his fear of Currie, who was much larger, possibly trying to sexually assault him.
Coles County State's Attorney Jesse Danley and Chief Assistant State's Attorney Jenifer Schiavone countered that McGrew was in a rage over an earlier sexual advance by Currie and that he brought a loaded handgun to Currie's apartment to kill him.
The jury found McGrew guilty on two counts of first-degree murder, one for intentional murder and one for knowing or having a strong probability of murder. They found him not guilty on the third count of first-degree, regarding a charge of intentional premeditated murder.
A sentencing hearing before Judge James Glenn has been scheduled for March 17. McGrew could face a prison sentence of at least 45 years if convicted.
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