Man gets 15 years in prison for firing gun into grave of murdered man
Elston Stevenson stood beside the fresh grave of a murdered man during a funeral service at Evergreen Cemetery in November 2017.
He gathered with the man’s loved ones to watch the burial. But while others mourned, Stevenson raised a revolver. He said eight words: “You ain’t s---. You got what you deserved.”
Then he fired a bullet into the man’s grave. Now Stevenson, 58, has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, the U.S. attorney’s office said Monday. The sentence was handed down last week by U.S. District Judge John Tharp.
Stevenson’s criminal history dates back to the 1970s and includes convictions for theft, robbery, aggravated assault and attempted murder, court records show. But his defense attorney also described Stevenson as a heroin addict, and he said Stevenson was high the day of the funeral.
The shooting happened during a service for 39-year-old Marud Talib, the Chicago Sun-Times has reported. Talib, of Tinley Park, had been shot multiple times in the 7300 block of West Ishnala Drive in Palos Heights.
After firing into the grave, prosecutors said Stevenson waved the gun in the direction of mourners and fled across the cemetery. The feds previously said Stevenson fired at one mourner who chased after him, but Stevenson’s defense attorney argued that likely wasn’t true because police found four live rounds in Stevenson’s five-shot revolver.
“Mr. Stevenson understands that his conduct on that day is indefensible,” Jerry Bischoff, Stevenson’s defense attorney, wrote in a court filing last year.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cornelius Vandenberg wrote in his own memo that Stevenson “took a loaded gun to a murder victim’s funeral, fired the gun into the deceased’s grave and used that gunshot along with the insult that the deceased ‘got what you deserved’ to send a message to the deceased’s loved ones.”
The prosecutor also wrote that the evidence suggested Stevenson “had been paid to send a message to those present.”