Man convicted of New Baden man’s murder sentenced
BELLEVILLE, IL (AP) – A southern Illinois man convicted of the 2008 shooting death of a New Baden man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Lortez D. Thomas of Washington Park was found guilty in May in the death of 47-year-old Eric Mollet. However, the St. Clair County jury acquitted Thomas of raping two female witnesses.
The 35-year-old Thomas maintained his innocence during Thursday’s sentencing hearing. He offered condolences to members of Mollet’s family, adding he “didn’t do this.”
However, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Jan Fiss dismissed Thomas’ comments, calling the murder of Mollet “cold-blooded” and “despicable.”
Prosecutors say Mollet was shot to death in Thomas’ home after becoming involved in a fight with Thomas and two other men. Mollet’s body was hidden in a vacant house that was set afire.