A Chicago man will serve 55 years in prison for the 2014 stabbing death of 49-year-old Melvin Buckner.
Thirty-one year old Christopher Croom received the sentence this afternoon in Knox County Circuit Court. Judge Scott Shipplett, who presided over the case, granted the full requested sentence of the Knox County State’s Attorney’s office.
Prior to the sentence, a number of people took the stand including Croom’s mother, who asked her son to apologize and repent.
Croom delivered a statement of allocution, apologizing to Buckner’s family, saying he did not intend to kill the Galesburg man. He told the court he did not realize the “severity of the stabbing” and cited living a different lifestyle of violence in jail and on the streets.
Shipplett noted Croom’s prior criminal history, which he said largely started after the murder of Croom’s stepfather in 2000. He added that it was likely Croom could commit the same crime again and still showed himself to be dangerous. A jury in April found Croom guilty on two counts of first degree murder and a single count of possession of weapons by a felon.
Croom will get credit for 553 days already served and has the right to file an appeal within 30 days.