BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A Bloomington man accused of killing three of his friends in June 2018 was found guilty Wednesday.
Judge Casey Costigan announced the verdict Wednesday afternoon to a packed courtroom and said there was enough evidence to prove Sydney Mays was the man who shot and killed Nate Pena, Juan Carlos Perez-Macedo and Corey Jackson on June 18, 2018.
Mays was proven guilty on all 11 counts against him, including nine counts of First Degree Murder.
Costigan said after reviewing the evidence, he knows without a doubt Mays was at the apartment on 311 Riley Drive on June 18 at 2:10 p.m.
Prosecutors argued Mays set his sights on robbing Pena, a known drug dealer after seeing large stack of cash on both Pena’s and Jackson’s social media accounts.
The Judge said cell phone records from that day show text messages between Mays and his cousin Jahquan Howard, in which Mays asks for a ride Peoria and offered $200 that Mays was looking to flee the scene.
“The court is also convinced from that June of 2018 Mr. Mays knew that he was wanted by the police and was avoiding them,” Costigan said. “The court believes the evidence of flight and consciousness of guilt strongly favors the State.”
Forensic evidence from investigators proved both Jackson and Pena were shot with the same .40 caliber handgun and Perez-Macedo was shot with the same .380 caliber gun.
Investigators also projected the trajectory of the bullets and based on those paths, the State argued only someone already inside the apartment could have fired the fatal blows.
“There are no signs of forced entry and the Court understands the door wasn’t locked to apartment nine,” Costigan said. “The evidence does not support someone coming in from outside of the building during this three minute period of time that these individuals were shot.”
Throughout the investigation, cops found a gun magazine from a .40 caliber gun on a bed in the apartment as well as a pair of earbuds. The State said the earbuds are similar to a pair Mays was seen wearing in a Snapchat video one day before.
Sydney Mays’ trial began Monday, Jan. 25, and lasted all week.
Over the course of the week, both sides called many witnesses to the stand, including a young boy who was allegedly shot and injured by Mays.
In closing arguments Monday afternoon, assistant state’s attorney Erika Reynolds said all the evidence they presented to the Judge proved Mays was the only shooter. Defense attorney Michael Clancy argued on Monday the State’s timeline was “unbelievable” and only a “James Bond character” could pull it off.
Clancy declined to comment to media Wednesday afternoon after his client was found guilty.
Mays faced seven counts of murder with an intent to kill, three counts of murder with a strong probability to kill and one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 15.