BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
It took jurors little time Thursday to find Alvin Beasley guilty in the December shooting death of a 17-year-old Danville man.
The 12-person jury began deliberations around noon Thursday and returned with a verdict just before 2:45 p.m.
Their verdict disagreed with prosecution arguments, however, as jurors returned a decision of second-degree murder against Beasley.
Beasley was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the December shooting of 17-year-old Deyron Mullins.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 14.
Defense attorney Larry Mills said that, with a guilty verdict, second-degree murder was the most appropriate charge.
“We’re disappointed that he was convicted of anything,” he added.
Messages seeking comment from Vermilion County State’s Attorney Randy Brinegar and Assistant State’s Attorney Sandy Lawlyes were not returned Thursday.
Mills said Beasley believed he had to use self-defense at the time of the shooting, thinking that both he and his brother, who was present, were being threatened and their lives in danger.
Beasley has “accepted the verdict at this point,” Mills said, noting that he has not had a chance to discuss the potential for an appeal with his client. There will be a motion filed for a new trial, Mills said.
Second-degree murder is a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Beasley was arrested on Dec. 28 at a bar and nightclub in Joplin, Mo., on a warrant in connection with the shooting, which took place just after midnight on Dec. 23 in the first block of Quincy Street.
According to earlier testimony by police detectives, witnesses said Mullins was at a family get-together at 20 Quincy St. when a neighbor approached the crowd — estimated at as many as 30 people — and began having words about his home being broken into.
The neighbor then called for Beasley, who arrived in a car and joined in the argument.
Testimony indicated the witnesses told police Beasley had told Mullins not to move. Mullins began to run from the group and Beasley shot him.
Mullins died from a single gunshot wound to the back, police testified.