Lemuel Houston is escorted from a St. Clair County courtroom after being sentenced for the 2009 shooting of Centreville Police Lt. Greg Jones. STEVE NAGY
By GEORGE PAWLACZYK NEWS-DEMOCRAT — News-Democrat
BELLEVILLE — Assistant State's Attorney Steve Sallerson argued that life without parole was the right sentence for cop killer Lemuel Houston, who murdered Centreville Police Lt. Gregory Jonas in 2009 by shooting him four times in the head.
Defense attorney Tom Q. Keefe III argued that life and the high end of a second option -- 20 to 60 years -- were inappropriate, given a finding by two mental health professionals that his client was mentally impaired to the extent he ranks in the bottom 0.5 percent of the general population in mental acuity.
On Tuesday in St. Clair County Court, Circuit Judge John Baricevic dipped below the maximum, but not by much, sentencing the 25-year-old Houston to 53 years in prison.