Theddias LeSure once faced the death penalty for allegedly dousing his sleeping cousin with gasoline and lighting him on fire when he awoke, starting a fire that killed the cousin and LeSure's brother.
On Friday, the 25-year-old former Montgomery man accepted a negotiated plea in which he will serve 50 years in prison for murdering his cousin, Maurice Vaughn, 32, in 2009, according to a news release Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis issued Tuesday. After the death penalty was abolished, he could have faced life in prison if convicted of murdering Vaughn (his cousin) and Matthew LeSure, 26 (his brother).
Weis said all the victims or their families discussed the plea agreement extensively before the deal was reached. Vaughn's mother, the wife of Matthew LeSure and Nikia LeSure (the wife of Kevin LeSure) attended court Friday.
Nikia LeSure, who was injured jumping from the second story of the burning home, said Friday in court that she forgave Theddias LeSure for what he had done. Kevin LeSure, the second person injured escaping the fire and Theddias LeSure's brother, is still recovering from his injuries and did not attend court Friday.
"These types of cases, where one family members kills or seriously injuries another, are always extremely difficult from an emotional side," Weis said in the news release. "While nothing that was done here in court will change the events of those early morning hours on June 13, 2009, this plea of guilty and agreed sentence should help the victims and their families with closure to this horrific event.”
Shortly after midnight on June 13, 2009, firefighters arrived at 2415 Riva Ridge Road in Montgomery to find the home engulfed in flames, Weis said. During the investigation, LeSure told Montgomery detectives that he had set the fire and had intended to kill everyone in the home but changed his mind as neighbors started gathering because of the fire, Weis said. He planned the murders to cover up other wrongdoings, Weis said.
LeSure had been charged with first-degree murder, attempt first-degree murder, residential arson and aggravated arson.
LeSure will receive mental health treatment while in prison and will have to serve his entire sentence before being eligible for parole, Weis said. If released in 2059, he will have to register under the Murder and Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Act and serve 3 years of parole.
In the news release, Weis thanked "the members of the Montgomery Police Department, Illinois State Fire Marshall’s Office, ATF, the Bristol-Kendall Fire Protection District and other area fire departments, and the Kendall County Coroner’s Office for their extensive and time consuming work on this case."