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Ex-Illinois cop charged in 2020 fatal shooting of Black man

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) A former suburban Chicago officer who was simply fired after he shot right into a car 2 yrs ago, killing a Black man and seriously wounding the mans girlfriend, has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, authorities announced on Thursday.

In a news release, the Lake County States Attorneys office said it had unsealed grand jury indictments against former Waukegan officer Dante Salinas in the Oct. 20, 2020, shooting that killed a 19-year-old local man, Marcellis Stinnette, and wounded his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, based on the Lake County States Attorneys office. Salinas also was indicted on felony counts of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and official misconduct.

On the night time of the shooting, another Waukegan officer stopped the couples car and was questioning them when Williams suddenly drove off, in accordance with investigators. The officer pursued them and Salinas taken care of immediately his demand help and joined the chase.

Williams drove off a roadway and crashed, then put her car backwards so that they can leave the region, the Lake County States Attorneys office said in a news release Thursday.

Salinas had climbed out of his squad car and had not been in the road of Williams car but he fired several shots in to the drivers side of the automobile since it continued to reverse past him, based on the news release.

Williams was wounded and Stinnette, who prosecutors said had committed no crime, was killed.

A specialist analyzing the trajectory of the bullets could determine the positioning of Salinas and the trajectory of his bullets, Lake County States Attorney Eric Rinehart said in the statement.

Salinas surrendered to authorities on Thursday and a judge ordered he be held on $350,000 bond, prosecutors said. Second-degree murder posesses maximum prison sentence of 20 years and manslaughter posesses maximum term of five years. If Salinas is convicted of both charges, the sentences would run concurrently.

Douglas Zeit, a lawyer who represented Salinas in court on Thursday, declined to comment when reached by phone.

Williams has been charged with aggravated fleeing. She turned herself directly into authorities aswell and a judge ordered that she be released on a $50,000 recognizance bond.

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