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updated: 9/24/2013 5:17 AM

Trial for man accused of killing Round Lake Park woman set to begin

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  • Montago E. Suggs

    Montago E. Suggs


Jury selection for a man accused of murdering a Round Lake Park woman during a robbery six years ago at a Waukegan Check N' Go has begun at the Lake County courthouse.

Montago Suggs, now 29, is accused of killing Melinda Morrell, 23, during the May 21, 2007, robbery at the check cashing store in the 1100 block of North Green Bay Road in Waukegan. Suggs is eligible for life in prison if found guilty.

He is held without bond in Lake County jail.

A customer of the Check N' Go found Morrell, 23, shot in the rear of the store near a row of nonfunctioning video monitors and a video recorder. A coroner's inquest determined Morrell had died from a single gunshot wound to the back of her head, authorities said, and police found a .380-caliber shell casing and bullet near her body.

Suggs was arrested the following week, when he was picked up May 26 while fleeing the scene of an attempted robbery of the Ma and Pa's Country Store in Beach Park, authorities said.

Authorities said Suggs was holding a gun when he walked into the convenience store on the 37000 block of Green Bay Road and ordered employees to lie on the floor. After grabbing money from the register, he pulled the trigger on the pistol as it was aimed at the head of a store clerk, authorities said.

The gun didn't fire, authorities said, and the store clerk chased Suggs who dropped the cash and the gun after slipping on wet pavement.

Suggs scrambled back to his 1994 Lincoln Town Car to leave the state, authorities said, but a Lake County sheriff's deputy tracked him down and caught him just as he crossed the border into Wisconsin.

Suggs confessed to the Beach Park robbery the day after his arrest, but police also questioned him about the Check N. Go murder after the gun he used in Beach Park was traced back to Morrell's death, authorities said.

Opening statements are expected to begin Tuesday, and the trial expected to last into next week.

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