Mom and daughter strangled, burned bodies found in car trunk - Fox 2 News Headlines

2 charged with murder of mom, daughter found in burned car

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Robert Danno, 50 and Jose Fernando Martinez-Hernandez, 24. (Photo courtesy of Cook County Sheriff's Police) Robert Danno, 50 and Jose Fernando Martinez-Hernandez, 24. (Photo courtesy of Cook County Sheriff's Police)
PALOS PARK, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Two brothers who plotted and failed, then plotted again and finally killed the wife of one of the pair, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms on Monday.

Darron Brewer and Dujuan D. Powe, both in their 20s, were convicted earlier this year of murder and aggravated kidnapping, and on Monday, Judge Stanley Sacks sentenced Brewer to 99 years in prison and Powe to natural life, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's office.

The men kidnapped Brewer's wife, Kenyatae Collier-Brewer, on Oct. 26, 2009, and shot her in the head in the trunk of her husband's car, prosecutors said. Brewer had tried to kill his wife three weeks earlier, but failed.

Prosecutors said Powe was the triggerman, but Brewer helped plan his wife's murder to cash in on "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in life insurance money.

Powe had been dispatched three weeks earlier to strangle Collier-Brewer at her home but wound up having sex with the woman instead, according to prosecutors, who said it was likely consensual.

Brewer's marriage was already nearing an end because he was gay and had a boyfriend of his own, according to prosecutors and his own attorney. The failing marriage put the life insurance money in jeopardy, prosecutors said.

The night of the killing, Brewer drove to a gas station near West 59th and South Racine with his wife asleep in the car and their two children in the back seat, prosecutors said. Powe, wearing a mask, then committed a fake carjacking.

Prosecutors said Brewer drove home with his wife in the trunk of the car and got out with the kids. Then Powe drove to the 2200 block of North Tripp, where prosecutors said Powe shot her twice in the head.

Brewer made several calls to police, an auto pound and the morgue the next day pretending to search for his missing wife. During each call he failed to mention he'd been "carjacked" the night before on camera, prosecutors said.

He later "found" his car and called 911, prosecutors said. Police responded and discovered the body in the trunk.

Brewer confessed to police, but claimed his motive was to protect his brother, prosecutors said. He said he feared his wife planned to tell police his brother had raped her.

Sacks sentenced Brewer to 75 years in prison for murder and 24 years for kidnapping, according to the state's attorney's office. Powe was sentenced to natural life for the murder and 21 years for the kidnapping.

Both were given credit for 1,426 days served in Cook County Jail.

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