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updated: 1/7/2014 2:51 PM

Lake County judge upholds 105-year prison sentence in 2007 Waukegan murder

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  • Montego Suggs, shown during his September 2013 murder trial, lost his bid Tuesday to have his 105-year prison sentence reduced. A Lake County judge imposed the sentence last year after Suggs was convicted of the 2007 slaying of a Round Lake Park woman during a robbery. Suggs will likely appeal the sentence and conviction.

       Montego Suggs, shown during his September 2013 murder trial, lost his bid Tuesday to have his 105-year prison sentence reduced. A Lake County judge imposed the sentence last year after Suggs was convicted of the 2007 slaying of a Round Lake Park woman during a robbery. Suggs will likely appeal the sentence and conviction.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
 

A Lake County judge denied a motion Tuesday to reduce the 105-year prison sentence imposed on a Kenosha, Wis. man convicted late last year of murdering a Round Lake Park woman.

Montego Suggs, 30, was sentenced by Judge Daniel Shanes to 80 years in prison for the May 21, 2007 killing of Melinda Morrell, 22, at a Check N' Go on the 1000 block of Green Bay Road in Waukegan.

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Suggs was sentenced to an additional 30 years for attempting to kill a store clerk at the Ma and Pa Grocery Store on the 3700 block of Green Bay Road in Beach Park five days later, and 28 years for trying to rob that business.

In all, Suggs must serve 105 years of those combined sentences.

Defense attorney Keith Grant filed a motion Tuesday to reconsider the sentence. Shanes' denial of that request opens the door for Suggs to appeal the conviction and sentencing with the state appellate court.

Grant and Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Eric Kalata did not comment on Shanes' decision Tuesday.

A jury found Suggs guilty in September on three counts of first-degree murder for killing Morrell at the Waukegan Check N' Go where she worked.

Prosecutors said Suggs was in desperate need of money when he entered the check cashing store, confronted Morrell, and demanded a key to cash drawers. Suggs later forced Morrell to lie on the floor and shot her execution-style in the back of the head, prosecutors showed in court.

Six days later, authorities said, Suggs entered the Ma and Pa Grocery Store in Beach Park with the same gun used in the Waukegan murder and confronted the store clerk. He ordered the clerk to lie on the floor behind the counter while he stole cash from the register, then pulled the trigger on the gun aimed at the clerk's head. However, authorities said, the gun did not fire and was dropped after Suggs fled the store.

After leading police on a car chase into Wisconsin, Suggs was arrested while trying to hide in a wooded area. He has remained in custody since.

Police tied the gun in the Ma and Pa's robbery to the Check N' Go murder with the bullet and shell casing.

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