PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Peoria County jury has found a Peoria man guilty in connection with a double shooting early on New Year’s Day that left one dead and another injured.
Robert A. White, 28, was accused of killing Daniela T. Jackson and injuring her husband, Levi Conway, in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2022.
White, who wore a blue blazer and gray pants, showed no emotion. Family and friends of Conway and Jackson cried and hugged each other in the hallway after the hearing concluded.
The jury deliberated for 3 1/2 hours over two days before returning their verdicts on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. Circuit Judge Kevin Lyons revoked White’s bond and scheduled a July 12 sentencing hearing.
At that hearing, White faces at least 45 years on the murder charge and at least six years on the aggravated battery charge. He could receive up to life in prison.
That’s because jurors that he was the triggerman and that finding automatically tacks on 25 years to the normal range of 20 to 60 years behind bars.
White, who was known to Jackson and Conway as “Rocky,” admittedly had been out partying with the couple and several of their friends that night, both at a pre-party prior to midnight, at a South Peoria tavern and then back at the couple’s apartment which was in the 2000 block of Southwest Adams Street.
Jackson died at the scene. Conway was treated at an area hospital where he then identified White from a photo lineup later on Jan. 1, 2022. He also showed police several photos taken at the party which clearly showed White there and engaging with others.
White’s legal issues aren’t over despite the end of the trial.
He’s still charged in connection with the death of 35-year-old Bridget Ross two hours later at 517 W. Martin Luther King Drive. She was pronounced dead later at a local hospital.
According to court records, police were contact by a person living in a nearby apartment who said a person known as “Rocko,” which is another nickname for White, was seeing running down a flight of stars after they heard gunshots.
The jury in the Jackson case, however, was barred from hearing anything about that. White’s attorney, Hugh Toner, had filed a motion asking Lyons to rule that Ross’ death not be mentioned, as that could possibly sway jurors in the Jackson case.
If he’s convicted of that crime, then he faces a mandatory life sentence. That’s because it would be his second murder conviction.
Lyons said Ross homicide would be scheduled in the next few weeks.