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Man gets 55 years for role in 2014 killing of Bensenville store owner

Sun-Times file photo

A Chicago man was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in the 2014 fatal shooting of a tobacco store owner in northwest suburban Bensenville.

After a three-day trial, a jury found Stephan Russell, 25, guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted robbery with a firearm in the killing of Hussein Saghir, according to the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office.

On Jan. 19, 2014, Russell, 24-year-old Kenneth Bardlett and 27-year-old Tremayne Davis drove up to Sam’s Tobacco and Foodmart at 477 W. Irving Park Road, prosecutors said. Bardlett and Russell then walked up to Saghir and his brother as they were closing for the evening, and Russell fatally shot the store owner during an ensuing altercation.

The trio then drove off, prosecutors said. All three were ultimately arrested following an investigation.

Stephan Russell | DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office
Stephan Russell | DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office

As part of a plea agreement, Bardlett agreed to testify against his co-defendants in exchange for a lesser charge and a shorter sentence, prosecutors said. However, Bardlett lied while testifying against one of the other men and the plea agreement was withdrawn. Prosecutors then reinstated first-degree murder charges against him.

In addition, Bardlett was found in contempt of court for “engaging in unruly verbal and physical behavior” and providing false testimony, prosecutors. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison earlier this month.

Last November, Russell was found guilty of felony counts of first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery with a firearm, prosecutors said. His sentencing was scheduled for June 18.

Davis pleaded guilty in December 2016 to a felony count of armed robbery with a weapon and was sentenced to eight years in prison, prosecutors said.