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3 arrested, charged with the murder of Hammond man, police report

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HAMMOND — Illinois State Police announced Thursday the latest in a series of three arrests and the filing of charges in connection with the murder of 65-year-old Michael Brown of Hammond.

Brown had been found shot to death Jan. 26 at his home on South C Street and was killed, police allege, during the course of a burglary.

In a news release, police said Blayton M. Cota, 19, of Granite City and two juveniles aged 16 and 17 of Springfield have all been charged by Piatt County State’s Attorney Sarah Perry with first degree murder.

Police said the 16-year-old juvenile had been arrested Sept. 30, followed by Cota on Oct. 4 and the 17-year-old on Oct. 5. Cota is being held in the Piatt County Jail with bail set at $1 million. Both the teenagers were described as being confined in juvenile detention facilities.

State Police said the investigation to find and arrest Brown’s killers was a large operation involving the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the sheriff’s offices of Logan, Menard, Piatt and Sangamon counties and the police departments in Lincoln, Petersburg and Springfield, along with the Piatt County coroner.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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