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Man Gets 90-Year Sentence in Attack on Six Children

November 5, 1987

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ A man was sentenced to 90 years in prison after testifying that effects of drugs and alcohol blocked his memory of an attack in which five children were shot and a sixth child’s throat was cut.

Steven Orlando Beck, 20, pleaded guilty in August to six counts of armed violence and six of aggravated battery. St. Clair County Circuit Judge William B. Starnes on Wednesday ordered Beck to serve consecutive sentences of 15 years for each victim.

The attack by Beck and his younger brother, Jamel Alfred Beck, 14, occurred last November in the victims’ home, authorities said. All the children, ages 4 to 14, recovered.

Steven Beck’s his 18-year-old sister, Kava, sobbed as the court session adjourned. ″See you, Lance,″ she said, calling him by his nickname.

Jamel Beck pleaded guilty in June after being certified to stand trial as an adult. He was sentenced in August to 120 years in prison.

The Becks were neighbors of the victims, the children of John and Joyce Wilbourn. Authorities said the brothers had entered their East St. Louis home planning to steal guns.

Steven Beck testified he had been under the influence of alcohol and marijuana-laced PCP and could not remember what happened in the Wilbourn house.

Assistant State’s Attorney Jack Kloess had asked that Beck receive the same 120-year sentence as his brother. Defense attorney Glenn Altman had suggested a 20-year sentence.

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