A Chicago man was sentenced today to life plus 20 years in prison for the shooting deaths of two individuals and his subsequent attempts to have a witness in the case against him killed, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Samuel Gayden, 35, was previously found guilty of two counts of Murder and one count of Attempt Murder.
According to prosecutors, on Sept. 1, 2010, the victims Marcus Marshall and Shawntell Harris and a third victim approached a liquor store in the 5700 block of South State Street. Marshall and the third victim entered the store while Harris stayed outside. Gayden entered the same store, looked around, walked out and waited outside of the store. Shortly thereafter, Harris entered the store. A few moments later, Gayden re-entered the store and began shooting at Marshall, Harris and the third victim. Marshall and Harris were shot and died as a result of their injuries. The third victim escaped injury.
The entire incident was caught by several surveillance cameras in the area and Gayden was identified as the shooter by witnesses at the crime scene and viewing the surveillance footage. Gayden was arrested a few days later and the murder weapon was recovered.
While in custody at the Cook County Jail, Gayden made telephone calls and mailed letters attempting to have one of the witnesses in the case murdered. Those communications were intercepted by Sheriff’s Office investigators.
Gayden appeared at a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago where Judge Domenica Stephenson imposed the prison term.
State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Thomas Darman, Eric Leafbland and Mary McMahon, the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for their work on this case.