WEDNESDAY: Cloudy with a mix of rain and snow. Snow accumulation up to an inch. High: 39. Winds: Southeast 10-15 mph.WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Lingering snow into the evening. Low: 26. Winds: Northwest 5-10 mph.THANKSGIVING ...more »
Bell Found Guilty in Murder Trial
A Springfield man could spend the next 60 years behind bars.
It took a Sangamon County jury just two hours to convict Kenneth Bell on one count of first degree murder in connection with the 2010 death of Pauline Cormier. The 61-year-old nurse and music teacher was found stabbed to death in her home on South Spring Street in September 2010.
Bell was also convicted on one count of residential burglary.
Bell chose to represent himself in the trial, but he could not convince a jury of his peers that he didn't commit the crime.
Experts testified linking Bell to bloody shoes and bloody fingerprints inside the victim's home.
The trial's closing arguments went on for more than an hour with many objections by both Bell and prosecutors.Since the murder happened back in 2010, many of Cormier's friends still cannot believe she's gone. One of Cormier's students, Rick Lafollette, use to take guitar lessons with her once a week. He said all of Cormier's friends and students have been waiting for this day to come.
"She was just one of those people that she did not have a family but she told me once that the important thing in life is friends and you can see by all of the people that are here in the courtroom today and the hundreds of people that went to her memorial service, she had a very successful life," Lafollette said.In Bell's closing argument, he told the jury, "I did not do this crime they accused me of doing, I fear for my life here today."
Many of Cormier's friends said prosecutors presented a great case and they feel Bell is getting what he deserves.
Prosecutors said Cormier was stabbed more than 100 times and her body was discovered nearly two days after she was killed.
Bell, 46, will be sentenced for Cormier's murder on March 20. He faces up to 60 years in prison.