Tevin Louis

In 2012, Tevin Louis was charged with felony murder after a police officer killed his friend. In 2021, Illinois narrowed the scope of its felony murder rule, but unless it’s applied retroactively, Tevin will have to serve a 52-year sentence.

Related to: Sentencing Reform, Incarceration

In 2012, 19-year-old Tevin Louis was charged with felony murder. The deceased was his friend, Marquise Sampson. The person who pulled the trigger was Officer Antonio Dicarlo.

After the two teenagers robbed a gyro shop, Officer Dicarlo and his partner chased Sampson for a quarter mile before Dicarlo shot him in the shoulder, chest, and back. While Dicarlo claimed that Sampson pulled out his gun, the body camera footage of the shooting was obscured: it only showed Sampson holding his waistband, not a gun. Louis was convicted of first-degree murder for his friend’s death as well as robbery. He was found guilty of each, and sentenced to 52 years in prison. Appealing his case, Louis acknowledged: “I’m not perfect. But I don’t deserve this.”

Dicarlo, an officer with over 20 misconduct complaints on his record since 2000, including for improper use of a weapon, was praised for his actions. Then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave him a 2013 Superintendent’s Award for Valor. According to an investigation from the Chicago Reader, Louis’s case was one of at least 10 in Cook County between 2011 and 2016 in which killings by Chicago police and Cook County sheriff’s officers resulted in felony murder charges for residents. If Illinois’s 2021 reform narrowing the scope of the felony murder law were to be applied retroactively, Louis might have a chance at resentencing. Louis’s case echoes similar cases across the country that shift blame from police to civilians, including in Alabama, Arizona, Ohio, and Oklahoma.

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