Yolanduis L. McDuffie, convicted in the fatal shooting of tattoo artist Derek Jackson, intends to appeal.
Jackson, 24, was killed Dec. 18, 2013, at his Rock Island home. McDuffie, 25, of Moline, and Aaron D. Henderson II, 25, of Rock Island, were both accused of the killing.
They were each found guilty of one count of first-degree murder in separate trials. The count against each man accused him of planning and participating in the crime that led to Jackson's death. Neither Henderson or McDuffie was convicted of pulling the trigger, though each was also charged under that theory.
Friday, Rock Island County Judge Frank R. Fuhr denied McDuffie's motion to reconsider his 55-year sentence, and Nate Nieman, McDuffie's attorney, said his client planned to appeal. McDuffie was not present.
Before Fuhr announced his ruling, Nieman argued the sentence — five years short of the maximum for the charge — would mean his client would be in or nearing his 80s before he would be released.
The length of the sentence, he contended, would prevent McDuffie an opportunity to show he had been rehabilitated.
Assistant Rock Island County State’s Attorney John McCooley countered that, while the rehabilitation of McDuffie was a goal, the safety of the public was an issue, referencing McDuffie's prior criminal record.
According to court records, that criminal record includes a 2011 conviction for aggravated battery in Rock Island County. It also includes a conviction for voluntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm in relation to the April 5, 2015, shooting of James Earl Goode Jr. in Davenport.
At McDuffie's January sentencing, Fuhr said the sentence for the killing of Jackson will be concurrent to the up to 15-year sentence McDuffie is already serving for the killing of Goode.
Henderson recently had his conviction and 40-year sentence in the case overturned, and is expected to have a new trial. The 3d District Appellate Court ruled that then Rock Island County Judge F. Michael Meersman erred by allowing a Rock Island County State's Attorney's Office employee and a bailiff to be in the presence of Henderson's jury as it reviewed video and audio recordings in the case.
Henderson was back in the Rock Island County Jail as of Friday, according to jail staff. He had a court hearing scheduled for Tuesday.