Convicted murderer of store clerk faces new charges
By Jim Newton firstname.lastname@example.org| @JimNewton5 October 7, 2013 12:44PM
Updated: November 9, 2013 6:13AM
After obtaining a first-degree murder conviction that means Montago Suggs could spend the rest of his life in prison for killing a clerk at the former Waukegan Check ’n Go, prosecutors intend to bring Suggs to trial for attempted murder in an alleged robbery attempt five days after the killing.
On Sept. 27, a Lake County Jury found Suggs guilty of first-degree murder with intent to kill, while knowing his actions had a strong possibility of causing great bodily harm and while committing an armed robbery in the death of 22-year-old Melinda “Mindy” Morrell of Round Lake Park during the 2007 Check ’n Go robbery.
At his pending sentencing, Suggs, 29, of Kenosha, faces a minimum of 45 years in prison, and the possibility of a life sentence.
If convicted in a new trial on charges related to the 2007 robbery of Ma & Pa’s Corner Store, 37737 N. Green Bay Road, Beach Park, he would face an additional 21 to 45 years for attempted murder and four to 15 years for armed robbery, and those years would be served after the murder sentence, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Ari Fisz.
Meanwhile, defense attorney Keith Grant said plans are in motion to file an appeal on the murder conviction.
“We accept the jury’s verdict. We’re disappointed and intend to move forward with an appeal,” Grant said Monday morning.
Also on Oct 7, Judge Daniel Shanes said that preliminary dates for Suggs’ new trial would be set Wednesday morning, Oct. 9.
According to testimony in last month’s trial, Suggs shot Mindy Morrell in the back of the head during a May 21, 2007, robbery of the former Waukegan Check ’n Go store on Green Bay Road.
He confessed to that crime, as well as the attempted robbery at at the Ma & Pa’s Corner Store five days later, where he allegedly forced the store clerk to the ground behind the register, pointed a gun at his head and pulled the trigger.
Suggs said he did not intend to shoot either Morrell or the clerk at Ma & Pa’s, but the Ma & Pa’s clerk testified in the murder trial that Suggs looked at the gun in a surprised manner and then fled after it did not discharge.