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Tremayne Thomas

Tremayne Thomas, 43, Davenport

A man accused of killing another in 2017 and leaving his burning body on a Davenport street received a life sentence Thursday.

In July, a Scott County jury convicted Tremayne Thomas, 43, of Davenport, of first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse.

The charges were related to the killing of Brandon Brooks, 35, of Rock Island. Brooks' body was found May 30, 2017. It was on fire in front of a home at 3010 W. Dennison Ave. Later examination showed Brooks had been shot in the arm and suffered blunt-force trauma. There also was evidence of strangulation. His body was badly burned, but there was no evidence that he was alive when he was set on fire.

The sentence was handed down by Judge Nancy Tabor. A life sentence sentence, without parole, is mandatory for first-degree murder.

Thomas chose not to testify, but a recording of his interview with Davenport Police Department detectives was played during the trial. Thomas denied killing Brooks, whom he had known for 17 years, or knowing who did.

He told detectives he and Brooks did meet on May 29, 2017, and that Brooks later came back, but left again, leaving a newly purchased bicycle secured to a pole near Thomas' home. He did not provide an exact time for the second interaction.

Investigators found traces of blood in Thomas' apartment, his work truck and a van, according to evidence presented at trial. That blood was later found to match Brooks' DNA profile.

A gas can was also recovered from the van, according to the evidence presented at trial. There was also video footage from early May 30 from 3240 Heatherton Drive that showed Thomas driving up in the van not long before Brooks' body was found and taking a similar can from a maintenance room to which he had access.

More will follow here and in tomorrow's newspaper.

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