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updated: 9/28/2013 11:56 AM

Suggs found guilty of killing Round Lake Park woman

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  • Gilbert R. Boucher II/  Montago Suggs of Kenosha, Wis. sits at his table during his murder trial Tuesday at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan.

      Gilbert R. Boucher II/ Montago Suggs of Kenosha, Wis. sits at his table during his murder trial Tuesday at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan.

  • Suggs_Montago_mg0609  Montago E. Suggs

      Suggs_Montago_mg0609 Montago E. Suggs


A Kenosha, Wis. man was found guilty of executing a Round Lake Park woman during a robbery at a Check N' Go in Waukegan six years ago.

It took a jury six hours Friday to find Montego Suggs, now 29, guilty on three counts of first-degree murder at the Lake County courthouse late Friday.

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The verdict came in at about 10:30 p.m. after the jury listened to four full days of testimony, mostly from officers with the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force who investigated the murder of Melinda Morrell, 22, on May 21, 2007.

Suggs not only confessed to the murders on videotape, but also confessed to botched armed robbery at the Ma and Pa's Grocery Store in Beach Park five days after the murder.

Prosecutors said Suggs was in desperate need of cash so he entered the former check cashing store on the 1100 block of Green Bay Road and confronted Morrell as the employee walked out of a backroom.

After getting a key to cash drawers in the building, officials said Suggs made her lay on the floor in front of the store videotape machine and shot her execution-style in the back of the head.

He then took the video surveillance tape out of the video recorder, stole $2,000 from the store and fled, police said. Her body was discovered later that day.

Authorities said the shell casing and the bullet from the weapon that killed Morrell was found as evidence at the scene.

That casing would tie Suggs to the murder after he was arrested following a botched robbery at the Ma and Pa's Grocery Store in Beach Park.

Authorities said Suggs entered the grocery store on the 3700 block of Green Bay Road on May 26 and forced Garcia to lie on the floor behind the counter while he stole cash out of the register.

After a customer entered the store mid-robbery and was also ordered to the ground, Suggs pointed the gun at the back of the clerk's head and pulled the trigger, authorities said.

But authorities said Suggs did not properly load the weapon and the gun never fired.

Authorities said the store clerk heard the click from the gun and sprang to his feet to confront his attacker, but Suggs ran out of the building. Suggs slipped on wet pavement as he tried to make it to his car, authorities said, dropping the gun on the ground.

Following a police chase into Wisconsin, Suggs was arrested after trying to hide in a wooded area.

Police said Suggs confessed to the grocery store robbery the next day, then confessed to the murder four days later.

But defense attorneys Keith Grant and Randie Bruno claimed throughout the trial that Suggs confessed only to end his four-day interrogation.

Suggs remains held in Lake County jail following the verdict.

He is facing life in prison.

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