A Chicago man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for firing a gun into the grave of a murder victim during his burial service. A service was been held on Nov.22, 2017 at Evergreen Cemetery in Evergreen Park where Elston Stevenson drew a handgun and said, “You ain’t [expletive]. You got what you deserved.”
He fired a single shot into the grave of the deceased man, who had been murdered two days earlier. Stevenson also waived the gun in the direction of the mourners as he fled the service. He was arrested a short time later near the entrance of the cemetery. The 57-year old pleaded guilty to one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.
U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp, Jr., imposed the 15-year sentence on July 1, 2020, in federal court in Chicago. John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Kristen deTineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives announced the sentencing.
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Evergreen Park Police Department provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cornelius A. Vandenberg argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum, “When a felon brings a loaded gun to a populated area and uses the gun to threaten and endanger strangers, this conduct will not be tolerated.”
He added, “The mourners were all in the immediate vicinity of the defendant when he produced the loaded weapon and were placed in danger by the defendant’s reckless firing of the weapon into the gravesite.”