PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A 19-year-old Peoria man was sentenced to 17 years in prison for a fatal shooting in South Peoria in the fall of 2020.
Ladarrius D. Mason had been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the Sept. 26, 2020, shooting of Donald “Donnie” Allen in the 1500 block of South Faraday Avenue, but prosecutors filed the second-degree murder charge late on Monday.
The difference in the charges is that first-degree murder carries a much stiffer sentence — 20 to 60 years in prison served at 100% — as opposed to the second-degree count which is four to 20 years behind bars. And a person is eligible for day for day “good-time” credit.
Also, second-degree murder occurs when a person, in this case Mason, believes he had to use deadly force, but that belief was unreasonable. In such cases, self-defense is a common argument.
According to a factual basis given in court, the two men had gotten into a fight. Mason then shot Allen, 28, in the head. Allen died the next morning, becoming the city’s ninth homicide of 2020.
Police responded to responded to the area after an alert from the ShotSpotter gunfire detection indicated four rounds had been fired.
With credit for time already served and if he earns his day for day credit, Mason could get out of prison in less than seven years.