Man Convicted of Killing Washington Park Mayor

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Aaron Jackson

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) – A man faces possible life in prison now that he’s been convicted in the 2010 shooting death of the mayor of a southwestern Illinois village.

A St. Clair County jury on Friday found 36-year-old Aaron Jackson of Washington Park guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his hometown’s top elected official, John Thornton.

Prosecutors contended Jackson shot Thornton several times in the chest as the 52-year-old mayor sat in his car. They theorize Thornton was headed home from his sanitary district job when Jackson flagged him down to ask for money.

A judge last October declared a mistrial after a key witness changed her testimony about whether she talked to an investigator at the scene of the killing. That witness also claimed the investigator offered her a bribe.

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