Prosecutors to Seek Death in Slaying Man Accused of Killing Clerk, Two Murder Attempts

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Gordon

tgordon@@dailyherald.com

Lake County prosecutors said they will seek the ultimate punishment for the man accused of the execution-style slaying of a Round Lake Park woman and the attempted murder of two other people.

Montago Suggs, 24, showed no reaction to the announcement during a hearing Monday before Circuit Judge Fred Foreman.

Suggs, of Kenosha, is accused of killing Melinda Morrel, 23, during a May 21, 2007, robbery of the Check N' Go at 1147 N. Green Bay Road, Waukegan.

Police say Suggs entered the store about 5:30 p.m. and demanded money from Morrel, a clerk, who was alone in the store.

In a statement after his arrest, Suggs told police he demanded the tape from a security videotaping system inside the store after Morrel had given him $2,000.

Police said Suggs claims Morrel was crouching behind the counter trying to remove the tape when he reached around her to hit the eject button and his gun went off.

Morrel died from a single gunshot wound to the head. Her body was discovered by a customer who entered the store after Suggs left, police said.

Lake County Deputy State's Attorney Jeff Pavletic declined to comment on Suggs' confession but said the decision to seek the death penalty was not made lightly.

"State's Attorney (Michael) Waller and his staff investigated the facts and circumstances of the current cases and the defendant's background," Pavletic said. "After going over all the information, he decided that this was the appropriate decision to make."

Pavletic said Suggs will face capital punishment under the section of the law that allows the penalty for murders committed during an armed robbery. …