A former suburban Chicago cop who was terminated from his position after shooting a Black man to death and seriously injuring the man’s girlfriend has finally been charged with second-degree murder as well as involuntary manslaughter. Authorities announced this news on Thursday.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s office stated that it had unsealed grand jury indictments against former Waukegan police Officer Dante Salinas in the Oct. 2020 shooting that killed a 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette. Stinnette’s girlfriend, Tafara Williams, was also seriously wounded.
In addition, Salinas was indicted on felony counts of aggravated battery which caused significant bodily harm and misconduct. On October 20, 2020, a different Waukegan officer stopped the couple’s car to question them. Investigators say Williams unexpectedly drove off. The officer followed them and Salinas responded to the officer’s call for help.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s office stated in Thursday’s news release that Williams drove off a roadway and crashed. She then attempted to leave the area by putting her car in reverse. The news release also explained how Salinas “fired several shots into the driver’s side of the vehicle as it continued to reverse past him.”
Stinnette, who prosecutors insist had committed no crime, was killed while Williams was injured.
On Thursday, Salinas surrendered to authorities. A judge ordered he be held on $350,000 bond, prosecutors stated. If Salinas is convicted of both charges, he would face up to 20 years for second-degree murder and up to five years for manslaughter.
Williams was charged with aggravated fleeing. She also surrendered to authorities and a judge ordered that she be released on a $50,000 recognizance bond.