Rockford, Illinois News

Rockford man convicted of killing roommate

ROCKFORD — A man accused of killing his roommate was found guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday after a bench trial in front of Judge Debra Schafer.

Fredrick Devon Thomas, 36, was convicted of beating 33-year-old Jennifer Lewis to death Sept. 11, 2018, in the 10th Avenue apartment they shared. An autopsy showed Lewis died from blunt force trauma.

Authorities alleged Thomas argued with Lewis on the evening of Sept. 10, and that he had beaten her on several other occasions. Lewis had moved out of the apartment but moved back in the day before she was killed.

Thomas has multiple felony convictions and was on probation for aggravated domestic battery at the time of the homicide.

“This case highlights the enormous difficulties victims of domestic violence experience when trying to leave an abusive relationship as well as the grave danger they face when they stay,” Assistant State’s Attorney Alison Meason said in a release.

Thomas is due back in court for a sentencing hearing at 9 a.m., July 16, in Courtroom B of the Criminal Justice Center.