Downstate man guilty of murdering woman, dumping her body on Interstate 57 near Peotone

February 27

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Friday (Feb. 27, 2009) that a man who shot a downstate woman and dumped her body on the side of Interstate 57 near Peotone was found guilty of first-degree murder.

Delon Scott, 24, of Urbana, faces 45 years to life in prison when he is sentenced by Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak on May 4.

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.

Witnesses who testified during the five-day trial included an off-duty Metra police officer, a truck driver from Arkansas and a passing motorist. The 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 for the trip.

State’s Attorney Glasgow applauded Assistant State’s Attorneys Jim Long, Adam Capelli and Daniel Walsh for securing a guilty verdict that will put a dangerous man in prison. He also praised Illinois State Police, Peotone Police and the Illinois State Police Crime Labs in Joliet and Chicago for conducting a top-notch investigation.