Illinois man pleads guilty to burning grandmother alive

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by Associated Press

KREM.com

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 7:31 AM

BELLEVILLE, Ill. -- A suspect in the carjacking and killing of an 85-year-old grandmother has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports under an agreement with St. Clair County prosecutors, DaQuan Barnes will receive a 60-year prison sentence instead of natural life in prison. He will be sentenced Oct. 30.

The 21-year-old Barnes, 39-year-old LaTosha Cunningham and 30-year-old DeMarcus Barnes, all of Belleville, were charged in the May 2011 death of Yoko Cullen.

Authorities allege the suspects staked out Cullen outside a Collinsville bingo hall where one of them knew she played, then stopped her from driving away. Authorities say Cullen was forced into her trunk and driven to East St. Louis, where her car was set on fire.

Investigators said Cullen was alive when the vehicle was burned.

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