East St. Louis man convicted of shooting officer

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BELLEVILLE, IL (AP) – A convicted killer faces a May sentencing date after being found guilty of shooting a police officer in the face while the officer was trying to arrest him.

St. Clair County jurors deliberated an hour before convicting 38-year-old Cortez Gillum of two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Gillum also was found guilty of aggravated battery with a firearm and unlawfully possessing a weapon as a felon.

Prosecutors say that Gillum was wanted on a federal warrant in March 2012 because he’d violated parole after being released to a halfway house.

When police officer Michael Baxton Jr. spotted Gillum outside a public housing complex and tried to arrest him, the two struggled. Gillum shot Baxton, who survived.

Gillum’s previous convictions include one for second-degree murder.

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