Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dupo Kidnapper Found Guilty Today

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 12:19 PM

gavel3.jpg

Thomas Cureton thought he could beat the Feds. But the kidnapper accused of beating his victim and putting a gun to her head went down today.

Cureton, 30, of Dupo, Illinois, was convicted in federal court this morning on several violent charges, including kidnapping and selling crack across the street from a Belleville elementary school.

According to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Cureton kidnapped an eighteen-year-old woman and took her to Washington Park, where he bound and beat her extensively while threatening to disfigure her with a knife. After placing a firearm to her head and threatening to kill her, Cureton called her family members and demanded ransom money. The kidnapped woman's grandfather testified that Cureton said, "I'm going to keep hurting her until I get my money."

Following the three-day trial, U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton praised the court system. "This is a wonderful set of verdicts and a proud day for justice!" he said in the statement.

It's too early to say whether Cureton will appeal. "While we continue to explore our options, we thank Judge [G. Patrick] Murphy for a fair trial and tip our cap to the U.S. attorney and, especially, Assistant Attorney Kevin Burke for their integrity and professionalism," Cureton's lawyer, Thomas Q. Keefe III, tells Daily RFT.

The Cureton case is one of only a small handful that have gone to federal trial this year in the Southern District of Illinois.

Cureton was found guilty on eight counts, including Possession of a Firearm, Distribution of Crack Cocaine Near a School, Interstate Communication of a Ransom Demand, Attempted Extortion Affecting Interstate Commerce and Using a Firearm in Furtherance of Crimes of Violence. He faces possible life imprisonment. Sentencing is set for November.

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

August 4th, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation