Alton double murder suspect opts to represent himself in court

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said it’s only the third time it’s happened during his 20 years as county prosecutor – a man charged with homicide acting as his own lawyer in the courtroom.

The May 21, 2018 killings happened in the Alton Acres neighborhood.

Elijah Ingram, 30, and Derrick Vaughn, 28, were shot to death.

The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was called in to investigate. Vincent Gordon, 35, was charged with the two murders.

“Derrick was a good person, Elijah was a good person it’s just tragic losing someone who had a big heart,” said William Stewart, a family member and friend of the victims.

Authorities said the motive was senseless. Gordon did not like being teased during a card game that they and few others were playing.

“I don’t have any indication that this was about money,” Gibbons said. “I really don’t think it was about money.”

“Over ego. Over a senseless card game and his ego; that’s all this was over,” Stewart said.

Gordon fired his court-appointed lawyer and has since been acting as his own attorney.

“It’s very rare you’re going to have a case where an individual charged with murder represents himself,” Gibbons said.

Gordon won’t be able to use his lack of legal knowledge to appeal the case if he’s found guilty, Gibbons said.

“The judge admonishes them of the law and lets them know that they don’t get that kind of special consideration,” he said. “They don’t get to fall back on that ‘I don’t know what I was doing’ defense.”

Gibbons said everyone who has acted as their own attorney in a felony or murder case in the last 20 years has lost.

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