Man gets 55 years in prison in fatal shooting during 2015 drug robbery in Aurora

SHARE Man gets 55 years in prison in fatal shooting during 2015 drug robbery in Aurora
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Sun-Times file photo

A man was sentenced on Thursday to 55 years imprisonment in the 2015 killing of a 19-year-old man during a drug robbery in west suburban Aurora.

Leon D. Williams, 23, of Aurora plead guilty in March to first-degree murder in the Nov. 7, 2015 fatal shooting of 19-year-old Daniel Sanchez, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office. Williams admitted to personally firing the gun that killed Sanchez, who also lived in Aurora.

Leon Williams | Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office

Leon Williams | Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office

Sanchez agreed to sell a small amount of marijuana to Williams and his co-defendant, Keyonn S. Lovelace, prosecutors said. About noon, the three men met at an agreed upon location and Lovelace drove them to the 600 block of South Elmwood Drive to complete the deal.

While in the car, Williams tried to rob Sanchez of his drugs and cash, prosecutors said. When Sanchez got out of the car and tried to run away, Williams chased him down and fired two shots from a .25 caliber handgun that struck him in his leg and head. Williams then got back into the car and Lovelace drove off.

Officers responding to a call of shots fired at 12:05 p.m. on Nov. 7 found Sanchez with gunshot wounds to the head and leg in an industrial area on Elmwood, Aurora police said after the fatal shooting.

He was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Aurora before being airlifted to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving, police said.

Detectives found surveillance video from neighboring businesses that linked Williams and Lovelace to the murder, police said. Lovelace was arrested and the handgun thought to be used in the murder was recovered from his home on Nov. 13. Williams was taken into custody the same day.

An 18-year-old Aurora man who was with Williams and Lovelace at the time of the shooting was released without being charged, police said.

Williams later admitted to police that he tried to rob Sanchez before shooting him twice, prosecutors said. He remains at the Kane County Jail, where he has been held since his arrest in lieu of $300,000 bail. A Kane County judge revoked his bond after accepting his guilty plea.

The murder sentence carried a mandatory enhancement of between 25 years and natural life because Williams personally fired the gun that killed Sanchez.

Williams is required to serve the full sentence. He receives credit for 924 days served in the Kane County jail.

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