C’ville man guilty of murder in drug deal gone bad
FROM SUBMITTED REPORTS May 25, 2012 3:34PM
Mug of Errick Brown of Carpetntersville, convicted of murder.
Updated: July 3, 2012 10:35AM
ST. CHARLES TWP. — A Carpentersville man has been convicted of murder in a drug deal that turned violent, according to a press release from the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.
Errick L. Brown, 41, of the 100 block of Amarillo Drive, was convicted by Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon of two counts of first-degree murder. In addition, Sheldon ruled that Brown personally discharged the firearm that caused the death of 25-year-old Joseph Vonner of Carpentersville.
Brown had waived his right to a jury trial. Sheldon heard the case April 16-24, signed the written verdict May 23, and read the verdict Friday in court.
Evidence showed that on Oct. 9, 2009, Brown contacted Vonner, his roommate, and asked if he could obtain an ounce of powdered cocaine to sell to a third party. Vonner acquired the cocaine, and it was delivered to the third party in return for $1,000.
Brown and Vonner each received $100 profit from the sale. But the buyer was dissatisfied with the quality of the cocaine and wanted a refund. Brown returned his $100 profit to the buyer and asked Vonner to do the same. Vonner refused.
That evening at the home they shared, during a birthday party for Brown attended by a number of other people, tensions increased between the men because of Vonner’s refusal to provide the refund. Brown eventually retrieved a .45-caliber handgun from his car in the garage, told a witness that he planned to shoot Vonner and returned to the house.
At about 12:30 a.m. the next day, as Vonner was leaving through the front door of the house, Brown followed him and fired at least three shots directly at Vonner. One struck Vonner in the back of his head and another struck Vonner in the back of his left shoulder. Vonner died almost instantly. At least two people in the house and one other person outside the house witnessed the murder, according to trial testimony.
Brown immediately fled to Chicago with his wife, his 16-year-old son, one other witness and a 2-year-old.
On Jan. 6, 2010, after a warrant for his arrest was issued, Brown surrendered to Chicago police.
Sheldon set Brown’s next court appearance for July 18 for post-trial motions and sentencing. Brown faces a sentence of between 45 and 85 years in prison.
That sentence will include a mandatory 25-year enhancement because Brown fired the gun that killed Vonner.
Brown had been held in the Kane County jail since his arrest in lieu of $2 million bail. Bond was revoked upon conviction.
“Our thanks to Carpentersville Detectives John Spencer and Steve Drews, whose investigation and assistance in the trial preparation were invaluable in this conviction,” State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said in the press release.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorneys Alice Tracy and Andrew Whitfield.