Errick L. Brown, 41, of the 100 block of Amarillo Court, had been found guilty of first-degree murder in May for the Oct. 10, 2009, shooting death of Joseph Vonner at their Carpentersville residence.
According to Kane County authorities and trial testimony, the shooting was sparked by a drug deal that had gone bad. Brown had asked Vonner, 25, to locate an ounce of cocaine, which Brown would sell to a third party for $1,000. The transaction was completed, and Vonner and Brown each netted $100 in profit from the sale, authorities said.
However, the drug buyer was unhappy with the quality of the drugs and demanded a refund. Brown returned his $100 profit, but Vonner refused. Tensions between the two men increased, authorities said, until Brown shot Vonner twice – once in the head – during a birthday gathering for Brown.
Brown, along with his wife and son, reportedly fled the residence for Chicago. He surrendered to authorities in January 2010 after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He faced a minimum 45-year sentence – 20 for murder with an additional 25-year add-on for personally discharging a firearm.
Before he was sentenced, Brown, though disputing key details of the shooting, apologized to Vonner's friends and family.
"(Vonner) was not a bad person to me," Brown said. "It was something that just happened."
Judge Timothy Sheldon said that Brown merited a longer-than-minimum sentence based on the facts and Brown's criminal record. Brown served a sentence in the state boot camp system for a drug conviction in the 1990s. He also had a weapons conviction on his record.