Thompson Pleads Guilty To Murder In 2007 Douglas County Crime Spree
An attorney for a Chicago man who admitted killing a Douglas County deputy says he did so to avoid what might have been a lifetime alone in his cell.
William Thompson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in a plea bargain yesterday in the June 2007 death of Douglas County Deputy Tommy Martin. The shooting happened during a crime spree that included a high-speed chase and stand-off at a bank in Arcola.
Attorney Jeff Justice says he advised Thompson to take the deal offered by prosecutors. Justice says a death sentence would likely mean decades on death row and 23 hours a day of isolation.
Douglas County Sheriff Charlie McGrew was a friend of the 59-year-old Martin. McGrew says he approves of the deal.
Thompson's co-defendant, Yusef Kareem Brown, has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial.