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'A history of defiance,' judge says, sentencing Grampsas to 45 years for role in Bloomington murder

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BLOOMINGTON — A Decatur man was sentenced to 45 years in prison Friday for his role in the murder of a Bloomington man in December 2018.

Anthony Grampsas, 20, was found guilty in July of first-degree murder during a home invasion. Prosecutors say he drove two other men including co-defendant Tyjuan Bruce, 21, to Egerton Dover’s home so they could rob him of cannabis. During the robbery, Dover was shot three times and died.

A third person police have said was involved, Curtis Hairston, 18, died during a 2019 shooting inside a Decatur restaurant.

Bruce was found guilty of murder last month and will be sentenced Oct. 8.

Grampsas’ charges were filed under legal accountability laws that allow a person to be charged if the death occurred during the commission of a forcible felony. The jury acquitted him on charges of robbery and of murder related to robbery.

Grampsas, who remains in custody of the McLean County Sheriff’s Office, waived his right to be present during the sentencing hearing held Friday at the McLean County Law and Justice Center. Judge Scott Drazewski granted the request and read him his rights to appeal before releasing him back to his cell. But when issuing the sentence, Drazewski made note of his absence.

“His cowardice and not allowing the victims to obtain closure and to hear what they had to say, demonstrates no empathy and no remorse,” Drazewski said. “It shows he just cares about himself and his needs.”

Grampsas’ absence didn’t stop the victim’s mother, Rhonda Dover, from speaking out.

“Egerton was a sure joy. He was funny, sharp-witted and had a genuine care for others,” she said. “Egerton mattered to those who knew and loved him. His loss has devastated me, his family, and friends. ... The grief is immeasurable and simple words can’t express it.”

The judge said Grampsas refused to participate with officials in the pre-sentencing investigation report, but investigators found plenty to fill the report. His first brush with the law came when he was just 11 years old and his first charge, a domestic violence incident, came when he was 13.

“It shows a history of defiance and there are countless incidents of abuse to his family, including his parents and that includes physical assaults to family and law enforcement officers,” Drazewski said. “The defendant has demonstrated that he doesn’t like to listen.”

Grampsas’ charges were made under legal accountability laws that allow a person to be charged if the death occurred during the commission of a forcible felony. The jury acquitted him on charges of robbery and of murder related to robbery.

Jack McQueen, the crime and analyst supervisor at the Bloomington Police Department, testified that Grampsas was in a hybrid gang and was hurt in a shooting incident in Bloomington in August 2016. Grampsas was one of three people injured in the shootout, which involved two local gangs, McQueen said.

His social media posts were constantly monitored and often displayed guns.

“He came on the radar in the summer of 2015,” McQueen said. “He was a consistent presence.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Lawson asked the judge for a 60-year sentence.

“This crime was senseless and it was needless,” she said. “Egerton lost his life for drugs, money and property. His life had so much possibility, but the defendant didn’t care. ... What we see is an individual, who despite his background and opportunities, chose a lifestyle that is not indicative of any type of rehabilitation.”

Grampsas’ defense attorney, Steve Skelton, argued for a 35-year sentence.

“We are dealing with a horrible tragedy and I can only extend my condolences to the Dover family,” he said. “This is exceptionally tragic. He apparently had a great deal of potential and was very well thought of in this community.”

Grampsas was 18 at the time of the shooting.

“Based on the pre-sentencing report, he led a troubled period of time in his younger years,” Skelton added. “I don’t know what his personal demons are.”

Grampsas still has three pending felony cases not related to the shooting. Those include a theft and criminal damage to government property charge in McLean County and an armed robbery charge in Macon County. If convicted of any or all of those charges, those sentences would be added on to his current 45-year sentence.


 PHOTOS: Opening statements in Grampsas' murder trial

Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow

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