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Convicted killer gets another life sentence for slaying FBI informant

Spencer Mart/ phofrom Illinois Dept. Corrections

Spencer Martin / photo from Illinois Dept. of Corrections

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A 35-year-old Chicago man convicted of the fatal shooting of an FBI informant will spend the rest of his life in prison after being sentenced to life — on top of more than 100 years he was already serving for other crimes.

Cook County Judge Steven Goebel sentenced Spencer Martin to natural life plus 60 years for the murder of Earl Willis, a crime for which he was found guilty by a jury in October 2006, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

Willis was last seen on the morning of Feb. 4, 2006, according to prosecutors, and he was reported missing on Feb. 6. His body was found on May 12, 2006, in his vehicle near 72nd and Indiana in the South Shore neighborhood.

An autopsy ruled his death a homicide from multiple gunshot wounds, and evidence showed the bullets were fired from the same gun used by Martin in two other shootings, prosecutors said. An open bottle of liquor in Willis’ coat pocket was also found to have Martin’s DNA on it.

On Jan. 14, of 2006, Martin shot two peoples he did not know near 68th and Ashland, but both victims survived. Evidence from that shooting matched a gun used in a shooting on Feb. 4, 2006, according to prosecutors.

The latter shooting happened at a gas station in the 700 block of West Lawrence and was caught on videotape, showing Willis driving with Martin, who jumped out of the van and tried to rob, then shot the victim, prosecutors said.

Martin and Willis drove away, but the victim identified both men from photo arrays.

When bullets were found to be a match, victims from the January shooting were shown video of the gas station shooting and were able to identify Martin as the man who shot them.

Martin was convicted of attempted murder and armed robbery in the gas station case and sentenced to 24 years in prison. He was later convicted of attempted murder in the shootings near 67th and Ashland, and sentenced to 110 years, with all of the sentences to run concurrently.

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