CHICAGO (WCIA) — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced on Wednesday that a Danville teenager will spend the next 40 years in prison for murdering two other teenagers almost two years ago.
Dustin Cooper, 16, was found guilty of first-degree murder earlier this year in the deaths of Wyatt Bailey, 19, and Clayvonte Sloan, 16. Cooper is the first of four people to be sentenced for the murders.
Raoul said Cooper contacted Bailey in January of 2021 to buy marijuana and other related products. He arrived at Bailey’s home in Oakwood armed with a gun and accompanied by four other teenagers. When they encountered Bailey, who was also armed, and Sloan, Cooper and his group proceeded to rob Bailey and shot him in both legs while Sloan was shot in the lower abdomen. As Bailey laid on the ground wounded, Raoul said, Cooper shot him in the chest before leaving.
A Vermilion County Sheriff’s deputy responding to the shooting saw and stopped Cooper’s car. A search of the car turned up a bag of marijuana products and two guns – a ghost gun used in the shooting and one that was stolen from Bailey.
“It is my hope this sentence will provide some sense of closure to the families who will forever be impacted by this senseless act of violence,” Raoul said. “I look forward to continued partnerships with the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department and the Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s office in helping protect residents from violent crimes and holding those who commit them accountable.”
Vermilion County State’s Attorney Jacqueline Lacy co-prosecuted the case along with Raoul’s office. The 40-year sentence Judge Derek Girton imposed was several decades less than what prosecutors hoped for.
“When myself and the prosecution team from the Attorney General’s office met, we determined that a request of 70 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections was consistent with the facts and circumstances of the case,” Vermilion County State’s Attorney Jacqueline Lacy said. “Nevertheless, Judge Girton’s thoughtful and deliberate sentence addressed all aspects of this senseless crime. No sentence will truly address the loss felt by the victims’ families.”