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Rarely if ever will a legal expert advise someone to represent themselves while on trial, especially if that person is facing murder charges.

Luck seemed to strike twice though for Marvin Sanders, a man who defended himself not too long ago on trial in Peoria County Circuit Court and ended up being found not guilty in connection to a fatal 2021 gas station shooting. This follows a mistrial from back in January after jurors deadlocked on convicting him the first time around.

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Back in May, jurors took roughly 3 1/2 hours before coming back with the not guilty verdict. The murder victim, 31-year-old Jevon Gilliam, was killed almost three months to the day behind his brother, Robert Gilliam, Jr. Both incidents sadly proved to be due to gun violence. According to the Peoria Journal Star, Sanders was facing at least 45 years and possibly up to life in prison, not to mention a bond set at $1 million.

More background information below, via PJStar:

“Just before 11:30 p.m. Friday (Jan 29) , the ShotSpotter gunfire-detection system indicated that 24 rounds had been fired near the intersection of Southwest Adams Street and South Easton Avenue. Officers found a crime scene at Peoria One Stop gas station, 3203 SW Adams St., police said.

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Sanders managed to convince the jury that he shot Gilliam in self-defense, also making note that it was the other three who were actually instigating the whole ordeal.

While not every case is this cut and dry, we’re just glad Marvin Sanders had his argument together well enough to avoid jail time in both trials. Also, props to the money he saved on lawyers!

Peoria Black Man Gets Acquitted In Second Murder Trial By Defending Himself  was originally published on