Rockford, Illinois News

Man guilty of killing three people inside party bus

ROCKFORD — Raheem King, the man accused of shooting three people to death inside an “adult-themed” party bus in Rockford two years ago has been found guilty.

King was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges Friday, after a bench trial in front of Debra Schafer. King stood trial for the deaths of Daijon K. Sistrunk, 22; Martavies J. Blake, 21; and 27-year-old Sean M. Anderson. The men were fatally shot with a military-style rifle April 7, 2018, inside the bus near Johnston Avenue and Auburn Street.

After the shooting, the driver continued for a few blocks before stopping at a gas station and calling 911. King and the rest of the passengers fled the scene. His girlfriend was later charged with concealing a fugitive.

King organized the bus party and advertising it on Facebook Wednesday, April 4, 2018, with a post that said, “Party bus on Friday I’m charging 25$ a head,”

King argued self defense, claiming a firearm was pointed at him when he boarded he bus with the rifle. Prosecutors argued that there was no clear evidence the victims were armed.

First-degree murder is a Class M felony with a sentencing range of 20 to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. King was convicted of armed robbery, aggravated vehicular hijacking, and aggravated unlawful restraint.

Armed robbery and aggravated vehicular hijacking are Class X felonies with sentencing ranges of six to 30 years in prison. Aggravated unlawful restraint is a Class 3 felony punishable by two to five years.

“Special sentencing enhancements apply in this case that could require a sentence of up to natural life in the Illinois Department of Corrections,” Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said in a release.

King is due back in court at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 9.

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