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COURTS

Amari McNabb found guilty in Bloomington murder

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Amari McNabb arrives in court in Bloomington on July 26. He was found guilty Tuesday of first-degree murder and mob action in the shooting death of Juan Nash in April 2019 in Bloomington. 

BLOOMINGTON – Amari McNabb was found guilty Tuesday of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Bloomington man Juan Nash in April 2019 in Bloomington.

A McLean County jury also found the 22-year-old McNabb guilty of mob action. Jurors found him not guilty of aggravated discharge of a firearm. He faces up 20 to 60 years in prison for murder and one to three years for mob action.

McNabb, of south Chicago suburb Country Club Hills, was the third man to be found guilty of murder in Nash’s death. Scotty Allen, 21, and Exodus Hebert, 20, were sentenced to 50 years and 20 years in prison, respectively, for their involvement in the April 2, 2019 shooting in the 1200 block of Orchard Road.

Defense attorneys Edward Johnson and John Miraglia argued throughout the trial that state’s attorneys could not prove McNabb had or fired a gun. They said the incident was a quick confrontation that led McNabb to act in self-defense. They also argued that nobody could prove who fired a gun first.

But McLean County Assistant State’s Attorneys Aaron Fredrick and Ashley Scarborough said McNabb, Allen and Hebert “were on a mission,” and planned and coordinated the shooting. Fredrick said during the trial that each man had a role before, during and after the shooting.

Prosecutors argued that the three men’s motive to kill Nash, 25, was because his younger brother allegedly had a role in the shooting death of Trevonte Kirkwood about five months earlier.

Prosecutors and defense lay out their cases at the opening of the Amari McNabb trial.

Prosecutors said the three men came to an outdoor block party on Orchard Road for a short time and left for a nearby bowling alley.

Surveillance video shown during the trial showed McNabb, Hebert, Allen and another friend arrive to Pheasant Lanes bowling alley where they spent about 15 minutes walking around, talking to each other and on the phone.

Prosecutors said they left to return to the party and that shortly after they arrived, “gunfire erupted,” at about 9:45 p.m., Fredrick said.

Police recovered 20 shell casings from the scene – 14 9mm handgun casings, two .25 caliber casings and four .380 caliber casings.

Prosecutors and a witness said Nash fired 14 gunshots. A witness said he was in his parked car in a driveway facing the shooting in the street. He was looking at his phone when he heard several gunshots and looked up to see Nash on the ground.

He said he saw Nash then fire back about 14 times but that most people had run away. He also said he thought Nash’s gunfire sounded different from the first gunshots he heard.

Nash then got in a vehicle and drove down Orchard Road and around a corner where he crashed into a house. He was found unresponsive with several gunshot wounds inside the crashed SUV.

Allen and Nathanial Caldwell Jr. also were wounded in the shooting.

Other surveillance video showed McNabb, Hebert and Allen arrive to a nearby hospital to drop off Allen. The video showed McNabb and Hebert leave the hospital within about 30 seconds of arriving.

McNabb is due back in court Oct. 25 for post-trial motions or a sentencing hearing.


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