March 18, 2011
Christian D. Noel, 27, of the 100 block of Madonna, Joliet, was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting Conley Ratcliffe to death on February 26, 2010. He faces between 45 years to life in prison when he is sentenced by Associate Judge Edward Burmila on May 18.
Noel got into an argument with Ratcliffe outside the grocery store in the 1000 block of Woodruff. During the argument, the defendant pulled out a handgun prompting the victim to flee through a parking lot.
Noel fired multiple shots while the victim was fleeing, striking him four times from behind, according to testimony during the four-day trial. Ratcliffe fell to the ground, turned over and begged the defendant not to shoot him. Noel, however, continued to fire, shooting at Ratcliffe four to five more times while he was on the ground. In total, the victim sustained nine gunshot wounds, two of which were graze wounds.
Joliet police arrested Noel a week later, after interviewing witnesses near the store at the time of the shooting. There was no testimony regarding a motive for the shooting.
“Christian Noel gunned down an unarmed man who begged for his life during this act of cold-blooded, execution-style violence,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “With this conviction, we have eliminated the ability of this ruthless killer to wreak deadly havoc on our streets.”
The State’s Attorney thanked his prosecutors, Fred Harvey, James Long and Heathers Meyers for securing Friday’s murder conviction. The jury deliberated for 2-1/2 hours before delivering a guilty verdict.