An Ottawa woman convicted for her role in a 2011 murder in Ottawa has struck out with an appeals court.
Jamie Lomeli, 42, is serving a 24-year sentence for murder. Though there was no evidence she struck or beat Darrio Hunter, Lomeli was convicted in La Salle County Circuit Court under the accountability theory. Specifically, she was found to have lured Hunter, a drug dealer, to her Ottawa residence where Lomeli’s companions robbed and beat him.
Hunter died of his injuries. Lomeli and two others were convicted of murder. Two more participants agreed to testify against the killers and were convicted of lesser crimes.
Lomeli has repeatedly challenged her conviction. In her most recent attempt, she disputed evidence she was handling the cellphone used to contact Hunter and bait him into bringing cash and/or drugs. A La Salle County judge refused to throw out her conviction and, Thursday, the 3rd District Appellate Court upheld that ruling.
“Specifically, we found that at trial, [two witnesses] testified that the defendant knew of and participated in the plan to rob Hunter,” Justice Lance Peterson wrote in an unanimous ruling. “Text messages from [Lomeli’s] phone corroborated the testimony. There was no testimony directly contradicting their account.
Peterson added later, “We found that the evidence was sufficient to sustain [Lomeli’s] conviction for murder under a theory of accountability.”
Lomeli will continue serving her murder sentence and is scheduled for release in spring of 2038, when she will be 57 years old.