Downstate man gets 85 years for murdering woman, dumping her body on Interstate 57 near Peotone

June 29

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Monday (June 29, 2009) that a man who shot a downstate woman and dumped her body on the side of Interstate 57 near Peotone has been sentenced to 85 years in prison.

Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak sentenced Delon Scott, 24, of Urbana, on Friday afternoon. Scott shot Cassondra Cawthon, of Champaign, three times and then dumped her body on the side of the highway on Oct. 8, 2007.

Cawthon, who was shot in the head and chest, was driving a vehicle in which Scott was a passenger when the shooting occurred. The vehicle veered off the road but did not crash. Several motorists on Interstate 57 witnessed the incident and called 911. Scott ran into a nearby field to dispose of the gun. By the time he returned, police already were on the scene, and he was arrested.

“Delon Scott is a cold-blooded murderer who gunned down an innocent woman at close range while she was driving her car. This act of ruthless violence and abject recklessness claimed the life of Cassondra Cawthon and jeopardized the safety of everyone on the highway,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “Judge Rozak’s strong sentence should bring a measure of justice to the victim’s family, and it guarantees that this depraved killer will spend the rest of his years in prison.”

The judge sentenced Scott to 60 years for the murder plus an additional 25 years for using a firearm to kill the victim. Scott must serve 100 percent of the sentence, which means he will be more than 100 years old before he is eligible for release.

Witnesses identified Scott as the man who had run from the vehicle. Investigators recovered the gun, a Colt .38 Detective Special, from the field. Ballistics tests linked the gun to one of the bullets retrieved from the victim’s body. In addition, blood from the victim was found on Scott’s pants.

During the trial, prosecutors played for the jury a videotaped interview of Scott during which he admitted to Illinois State Police special agents that he shot Cawthon. His motive was unclear.

Cawthon was heading home to Champaign after dropping off two of her children with one of the children’s godmother in Chicago. Scott was her traveling companion.

The state’s attorney applauded Assistant State’s Attorneys Jim Long, Adam Capelli and Daniel Walsh for their excellent trial work. He also praised Illinois State Police, Peotone Police and the Illinois State Police Crime Labs in Joliet and Chicago for conducting a first-rate investigation.