East St. Louis man convicted of shooting police officer

BELLEVILLE, Ill. - A St. Clair County jury convicted a 38-year-old East St. Louis man Tuesday for the March 2012 shooting of a local police officer.

The jury debated for an hour before returning guilty verdicts against Cortez Gillum on two counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of aggravated battery with a firearm, and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.

Prior to this incident, Gillum had six prior felony convictions on his record, including convictions for second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, Officer Michael Baxton Jr. found Gillum in the parking lot of the Orr-Weathers federal public housing complex on Missouri Avenue. Baxton Jr. was attempting to take Gillum into custody on a federal warrant for violating the terms of his release from a halfway house.

Prosecutors said Gillum shot Officer Baxton Jr. in the face with a 9mm handgun, fracturing facial bones.

Gillum will face an enhanced mandatory prison sentence of 31 years to life imprisonment because he fired the weapon.


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