102717-Yolanduis McDuffie-001

Defense attorney Nate Nieman, right, speaks with Yolanduis McDuffie after closing arguments in October in the first-degree murder trial of McDuffie, who is charged in the fatal shooting of Derek Jackson in December 2013. McDuffie was convicted and will be sentenced Jan. 5.

Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES

Yolanduis L. McDuffie, convicted in the December 2013 shooting death of Rock Island tattoo artist Derek Jackson, will be sentenced Jan. 5.

The 24-year-old was found guilty Oct. 27 of first-degree murder in the death of Jackson, 24.

A Rock Island County jury that deliberated his fate rejected prosecutors’ theory that he fired the gun that killed Jackson.

Jurors did, however, believe that Jackson was fatally shot while McDuffie and his co-defendant, Aaron D. Henderson II, were committing an armed robbery.

McDuffie faces 20 to 60 years in prison.

Just before noon Dec. 18, 2013, Rock Island police were dispatched to Jackson's home at 1001 16th Ave., and found him lying on his back in the dining room.

He had two gunshot wounds to the head and one gunshot wound to his left arm. Jackson was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Jackson's girlfriend, Alyson Schippers, testified at trial that she saw Henderson standing over Jackson’s body and appeared to be rifling through his pockets after the shooting.

Jackson had talked to Henderson about buying a gun from a friend the day before the shooting, she testified.

Henderson's cousin, Kamren L. Bolden, testified at Henderson's 2015 trial that the two of them and McDuffie had gone to Jackson’s house that day to buy marijuana.

Inside the house, McDuffie pulled out a black gun and ordered everyone to the floor, Bolden testified.

He testified in Henderson’s 2015 trial that he saw a silver gun in Jackson's hand, but did not actually see who fired the shots.

Prosecutors argued McDuffie was likely the "muscle" during the robbery.

The gun used to kill Jackson, a 40-caliber Glock, was discovered more than a year later in a hotel room in Bettendorf. McDuffie’s prints were not located on the gun, his attorneys argued at trial.

They also argued that there was no forensic evidence or independent eyewitnesses that connected McDuffie to the murder or to Jackson.

Henderson, also 24, was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. The jury that decided his case also rejected the theory that he shot Jackson.

Bolden, 19, was charged with obstructing justice and served time in a juvenile prison in connection with the case.

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