Man gets 15 years in prison for fir­ing gun into grave of mur­dered man

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY JON SEI­DEL, FED­ERAL COURTS RE­PORTER jsei­del@sun­ | @Sei­delCon­tent

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.”

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