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A Look Back at 2015’s Year in Crime

January 04, 2016

New year means a fresh start, but for some, there is still unfinished business.

Coming off a year of decreasing crime in 2014, homicides in Peoria more than doubled in 2015. Just three weeks into 2015, Peoria saw its first murder victim: 17-year-old Tyrone Jones, Jr.

"With having the ShotSpotter call, that put officers in the area and gave us the ability for a very rapid response to the scene where the young man was ultimately located," Peoria Lt. Scott Cook said.

But that rapid response did not lead to an arrest. The same goes for Jordan Walker, David Purdle, Kamron Causey, Zacchaeus Davis, Ira Montford, Donny Richardson, Satwinder Bhola, and 12-year-old Demarcus Payne.

Police initially made three arrests in connection to Payne’s shooting death but no charges were ever filed.

One of the homicides of 2015 that did lead to arrests include a home invasion in October resulting in the death of Tommie Forest III, a 14-year freshman at Peoria High School.

"He's a good kid, he got a lot of friends, it's been so many people here today to support me, and he didn't do no trouble," Rebecca Forest, his mom, said.

Five people were arrested for his death.

The man responsible for a 2013 home invasion and charged in connection to a handful of others represented himself in court this past year.

"You have taught Peoria a lesson Mr. Rosetto: lock it up," Judge Kevin Lyons said.

Perry Rosetto was sentenced to nearly 90 years in prison. Joshua Dunn was sentenced to six years after he hit Illinois State University student Benjamin Allison with his car and then left the scene.

"Benjamin will be forever loved and missed and will live on in the hearts of those he touched and in the lives of those he save through the gift of hope," Ben’s mom Melissa Allison said.

Dunn was found guilty of aggravated DUI because on the day of the crash, he tested positive for traces of marijuana.

Another drug consistently on the minds of local law enforcement: heroin.

In 2015, overdose deaths tripled and first responders were using Narcan more than ever.

That's why departments across the region formed a task force to eliminate heroin in central Illinois.

"We have a task force headquarters, we have two places that we're meeting at, there's going to be pictures on the wall. There'll be names, there'll be targets," Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy said.

The men arrested in connection to Tommie Forest's death are all being tried separately.

With three of those trials set to start Feb. 29. Perry Rosetto is due back in court Jan. 20 for a review with the judge.

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