DANVILLE — A Danville man faces a lengthy prison term after his conviction for what authorities said was the gang-related murder of another Danville man almost three years ago.
A Vermilion County jury on Thursday convicted Dyontae Bright, 21, of the first-degree murder of Albert Gardner, 23, who was fatally shot outside the Untouchables Motorcycle Club during a Father’s Day event on June 16, 2018.
The same jury acquitted Bright of the murder of Tahji McGill, 17, of Danville who was also fatally shot that day outside the club at 106 Commercial St., Danville.
Because the jury found that Bright personally discharged the gun that killed Mr. Gardner, he faces an extended term of 40 to 80 years in prison. Judge Nancy Fahey set sentencing for April 22.
The case was prosecuted by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, which Vermilion County State’s Attorney Jacqueline Lacy called for assistance because of the volume of serious felony cases her office has. There are currently 18 murder cases pending and 10 prosecutors in an office that files about 900 felonies a year.
“After shooting the victim, (Bright) fled to a neighboring state in an attempt to avoid accountability,” Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in a press release. “Collaborations between federal, state, county and local law enforcement are critical to ensuring that individuals who perpetrate violent crimes are convicted — particularly when they go to extreme lengths to avoid capture.”
On Feb. 3, a mistrial was declared in Bright’s case due to what Lacy described as a juror issue before witnesses were called.
The jury seated Monday for Bright’s retrial took about three-and-a-half hours Thursday to reach its mixed verdicts.
Bright also faces unresolved charges of aggravated battery, battery and mob action stemming from a Dec. 31, 2020, fight in the jail while awaiting trial.
Vermilion County Public Defender Mike Mara, who represented Bright, did not return a call seeking comment.
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