The Lake County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s office says it has unsealed grand jury indictments against former Waukegan police officer Dante Salinas in the October 2020 shooting that killed a 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette.
According to the Associated Press, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office says Salinas was also indicted on felony counts of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and official misconduct. Stinnette’s girlfriend, Tafara Williams, was also wounded during the incident.
On the night of the shooting, another Waukegan officer stopped the couple’s car and was questioning them when Williams suddenly drove off. Investigators say the officer pursued them and Salinas responded to his call for help and joined the chase.
Williams subsequently drove off a roadway and crashed, then put her car in reverse in an attempt to leave the area. Salinas “fired several shots into the driver’s side of the vehicle as it continued to reverse past him” after the officer climbed out of his squad car, according to a news release.
No weapon was reportedly recovered from the vehicle, while Salinas has been fired. Prosecutors say Williams and Stinnette committed no crime.
According to an expert analyzing the trajectory of the bullets, they were able to determine the location of Salinas and the bullet trajectory during the incident, according to Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart.
On Thursday (September 22), Salinas surrendered to authorities and a judge ordered he be held on $350,000 bond. In Illinois, second-degree murder carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years with manslaughter carrying a maximum of five years.