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James sentenced to 50 years for 2011 murder of Mt. Vernon cab driver

May 22, 2017

JEFFERSON COUNTY — A 24-year-old Mt. Vernon man was sentenced Friday in Jefferson County court to 50 years in prison for his role in the 2011 murder of a 75-year-old Mt. Vernon cab driver.

Damondros James
(Source: JCSO)

Damondros James had earlier attempted to withdraw his guilty plea for the murder of cab driver Charles Ellis but later withdrew that motion.

James was one of four men charged in Ells’ shooting during a botched robbery attempt near the intersection of Sixth and Bell streets.

He denied the prosecution’s insistence Friday that he fired the shot that killed Ellis but apologized to Ellis’

As part of the plea agreement James struck with the state in 2014, he must cooperate in the prosecution of other defendants in the case but the prosecution said in court Friday that he has not fulfilled that end of the bargain. Three others were charged in the Ellis murder.

Mark Taylor Jr., is awaiting trial on three counts of first-degree murder,

Demandre Black pleaded guilty to aggravated battery with a firearm in October 2015 and was sentenced to 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Christopher Wells was charged as a juvenile and has pleaded guilty to murder.

James was facing between 20 and 60 years in prison for his conviction. The judge cited a lack of criminal history at the time of the murder as a reason he didn’t sentence James to 60 years. James must serve 100 percent of his sentence.

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