Man Gets Life for Murders of Ex-Girlfriend's Daughter and Mom - The Chicago Criminal Law Blog

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Man Gets Life for Murders of Ex-Girlfriend's Daughter and Mom

On Monday, William Dukes was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of his ex-girlfriend’s 8-year-old daughter and mother in Cicero in 1993, the Chicago Tribune reports.

In December of last year, Dukes was found guilty of murdering 46-year-old Marilyn Williams and Bridget Canaday, the daughter of Dukes’ ex-girlfriend, Lucy Rhynes. Canaday was raped and strangled. Williams was beaten and suffocated.

The investigation into the murders was stalled for over a decade amid allegations of police corruption and sloppy investigative work. Eventually, in 1998, Marko Tomazovich, Dukes’ alleged accomplice, was arrested on unrelated charges.

Tomazovich told police that he and Dukes had gone to Williams’ house to borrow money. When it turned out they she had less than they wanted, they killed Williams and Canaday, according to Tomazovich, reports the Chicago Tribune. In 2004, police arrested Dukes.

At Dukes’ trial, prosecutors presented DNA evidence from hairs found on the bed where Canaday was raped. The DNA from the hairs was a partial match to Dukes. In addition, a Chicago police sergeant testified that Dukes had confessed to the murders after his arrest.

Under the Illinois Criminal Code, a person is guilty of first-degree murder if in causing the death of another person “he either intends to kill or do great bodily harm to that individual or another, he knows that such acts create a strong probability of death or great bodily harm…[or] he is attempting or committing a forcible felony.”

In sentencing an individual who’s been convicted of first-degree murder, the court considers whether the defendant had a history of violent behavior, whether the defendant was previously subjected to mental or physical abuse, and whether the defendant was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance at the time the murder was committed.

Shortly after William Dukes was charged with the murders of Marilyn Williams and Bridget Canaday, Marko Tomazovich entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors. Tomazovich pleaded guilty to only home invasion, and prosecutors dropped the murder and sexual assault charges in exchange for Tomazovich’s cooperation.

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