Thursday, June 14, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Kenneth Bardlett, of Bellwood, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in a 2014 murder. | DuPage County Sheriff’s Office
A Bellwood man was recently sentenced to prison on June 12 for his part in the murder of a Bensenville tobacco store owner.
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin announced on June 12 that Kenneth Bardlett, 24, was sentenced to 22 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections in connection to the 2014 murder of Hussein Saghir, the owner of a tobacco store in Bensenville.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Berlin said that in March 2014, Bardlett had pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery with a firearm, a Class X felony.
“As part of his plea agreement, Bardlett agreed to testify truthfully against any and all co-defendants involved in the murder,” the state’s attorney said.
“In exchange, the State agreed to a sentencing recommendation of twenty years to be served at 85 [percent],” Berlin explained. “During the trial against one of his co-defendants however, Bartlett [sic] lied while on the witness stand. Consequently, the State filed a motion to withdraw the plea agreement.”
The court eventually withdrew the plea agreement and the first degree murder charges were reinstated against Bardlett, who was also found in contempt of court “engaging in unruly verbal and physical behavior” and for “providing false testimony.” The defendant to 180 days in the DuPage County jail with credit for time served.
Two other men from Chicago — Tremayne Davis, 27, and Stephan Russell, 25 — were charged in connection to the murder.
Davis pleaded guilty in December 2016 to a one count of attempted armed robbery with a firearm, a Class 1 felony, and was sentenced to eight years in state prison.
A jury found Russell guilty of two counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted armed robbery with a firearm after a three-day long trial in November 2017. Russell is due in court on June 18 for sentencing.
According to a synopsis of the crime by the state’s attorney, Bardlett, Davis and Russell went into Sam’s Tobacco and Foodmart in Bensenville at around 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2014.
“While Davis remained in the vehicle, Bardlett and Russell encountered Saghir and his brother outside the store as the men were preparing to close up for the evening,” the state’s attorney explained.
“Following a brief altercation between the men, Saghir was shot and killed. After the murder, Bardlett, Davis and Russell fled the scene. An investigation led by the Bensenville Police Department, the Major Crimes Task Force and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office led authorities to the men.”
In Tuesday’s statement, Berlin chastised Bardlett for his actions related to the case and lamented that Saghir “is no longer here, able to share in the lives of his loved ones.”
“Our judicial system is a truth-seeking process and for this system to work properly it must be safeguarded from misstatements, mischaracterizations and especially outright lies aimed at distorting the truth,” Berlin said.
“Mr. Bardlett had a deal – to tell the truth when called upon. He chose to ignore that deal in an effort to infect the judicial system and in doing so added years to his prison sentence.”
Bardlett will be required to serve all of his prison sentence, but will receive credit for time served in jail while awaiting trial, Berlin explained. VFP
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