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Judge sets execution date for convicted killer Isom

KevIsom. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media

Kevin Isom. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 10, 2013 6:08AM



Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. set an execution date for Kevin Charles Isom, who was convicted of the 2007 murders of his wife and stepchildren.

Isom, 47, made no statement before Stefaniak imposed the sentence handed down by the jury.

“You are now sentenced to death,” Stefaniak repeated three times for the murders of Cassandra Isom, 40; Michael Moore, 16; and Ci’Andria Cole, 13. The killings took place at the family’s apartment in the Miller section of Gary.

Isom’s execution date is Feb. 5, 2014, one year from the date the jury convicted him during a five-week trial. Three days after the guilty verdicts, jurors found the aggravating circumstance — that Isom committed multiple murders — outweighed mitigating circumstances and imposed the death sentence.

Evidence showed that Isom moved frequently as a child and at one time lived in the crime-ridden Altgeld Gardens in Chicago. His mother drank when she was pregnant and his father was absent from his life. A few weeks before the triple murders, Isom was fired from his job as a security officer, and his wife of 12 years had talked about leaving him.

Friday’s hearing gave the family of Cassandra Isom, who have attended every hearing since the case was filed, a chance to describe how the murders have affected them.

Isom didn’t want to attend the sentencing hearing, but Stefaniak told him, “I decided you will be required to be here and instructed the jail staff to bring you.”

His head shaved and wearing jail stripes, Isom sat emotionless, as he did throughout the trial.

Eddrin Barnes described his sister as a beautiful and loving daughter, mother and aunt who cherished her family time and was hard-working.

Michael, an ambitious and goal-oriented teen who had just landed a job, “wanted to buy his mom a mansion when he grew up,” Barnes said.

Ci’Andria, whose smile “would melt your heart,” enjoyed participating in dances and plays and was helpful and outgoing, Barnes said.

Barnes said he felt the death sentence fit the crime.

“Kevin, you are a coward,” Barnes said, adding that Isom was controlling and verbally abusive to his family.

Barnes said his sister learned that Isom hated his own mother. “She would have never married you had she known that,” Barnes said.

Barnes said the fact that Isom always wore black reflected the color of his heart.

David Urbanski, a trial supervisor with the prosecutor’s office who presented evidence with deputy prosecutor Michelle Jatkiewicz, argued that the sentences should be imposed consecutively in light of the numerous levels of appeals the case will undergo. “This was the execution of a family,” Urbanski said.

Lead defense counsel Herbert Shaps opposed the request, noting that Isom could only be executed once, but Stefaniak said under the law each victim is entitled to an individual sentence and imposed consecutive death sentences.

The judge also sentenced Isom to three years on criminal recklessness charges for shooting at three Gary police officers who responded to gunfire on Aug. 6, 2007, at 5708 Hemlock Ave., in the Lake Shore Dunes complex. Isom has spent 2,041 days in the Lake County Jail.

Barnes said the family wanted to express its gratitude to Prosecutor Bernard Carter, Urbanski, Jatkiewicz, Gary police Detective James Bond, victim-witness representative Carolyn Rogers, Stefaniak, the Lake County police crime lab, the jury and everyone who participated in the process of bringing justice to the family.

After the hearing, Cassandra’s mother, Oradee Barnes, said: “I thank God that God’s justice was served.”

Appellate public defender Mark Bates will handle Isom’s appeal.



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