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Decatur man awaiting murder trial gets 7 years on federal gun charge

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PEORIA — Decatur man Deangelo Foster, already awaiting trial on charges he shot to death a city liquor store owner, is now serving a seven-year sentence after being convicted in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Foster, 24, was sentenced Friday in Peoria in a U.S. District Court hearing before District Judge James E. Shadid. Federal sentencing rules mean Foster must serve at least 85% of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Foster

Foster

In the meantime, he is due back in Macon County Circuit Court Thursday for more legal proceedings in the Decatur murder case. Foster is pleading not guilty to four alternate murder counts in the Nov. 14, 2020, death of John Betscher. Decatur Police had found him suffering from fatal bullet wounds to the neck, shoulder and back inside the premises of his JB North liquor and convenience store in the 1300 block of North Calhoun Street.

Foster had been arrested Feb. 19 of this year while attending the Macon County Courthouse on an unrelated case.

Foster waives prelim hearing in Decatur liquor store murder case

The federal gun possession charge also dates to this February, when Peoria Police came across a sport utility vehicle doing “donuts” outside a gas station. The driver, later identified as Foster, tried to flee but ended up stuck on a median. Arresting officers found a loaded handgun in Foster’s coat pocket.

Police inquiries established the car had been stolen from Chicago while the gun was reported stolen from a Leroy gun store in 2020 and had been used in a Peoria shooting that same year.

According to the F.B.I, the United States experienced its largest one-year increase on record in murders in 2020.

Judge Shadid said it was imperative to get illegal guns off the streets of Illinois. “These stolen guns are making their way into the community and being used in shootings,” the judge added.

And Acting United States Attorney Douglas J. Quivey said there was a zero tolerance for those who possessed guns illegally. “This seven-year sentence demonstrates that people who possess firearms who are legally prohibited from doing so will pay a steep price,” Quivey warned.

A check of Macon County Jail records Sunday showed that Foster remained in custody at that facility.


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

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