Man Sentenced to 70 Years for First-Degree Murder

Michael Fencel
Michael Fencel
Man Sentenced to 70 Years for First-Degree Murder
By: CJ Cassidy
CAIRO, Ill. - A Mounds man convicted of shooting and killing a Cairo man at the Brown Bag Video Store last July gets 70 years behind bars.
Alexander County State's Attorney Jeff Ferris says justice was served and he expected as much.
Defense attorney Shane Aden says he expected a maximum of 50 years altogether, and felt the sentence imposed on his client was a rather harsh.
Michael Fencel himself appealed to the judge for a lighter sentence, but that didn't stop the judge from sentencing him to a 50 year term for murder followed by another 20 years for aggravated battery with a firearm.
Police arrested Fencel after surveillance cameras showed him gunning down Charles Caldwell of Cairo, along with a store clerk in July 2007 at Brown Bag Video in McClure.
Caldwell, who was visiting his friend at the store at the time, died of his injuries.
In court on Tuesday, Fencel read a poem he wrote for Charles Caldwell saying he never intended to hurt him.
He also read a statement: "I did not mean to shoot Charles at all... Charles was my true friend... I am so, so, so sorry."
Fencel's attorney says all his client wants now is for Caldwell's family to forgive him.
Fencel claimed in court the only problem he had was with one of the co-owners of Brown Bag Video.  He says he was so consumed with fear and hate he opened fire on the people inside.
Caldwell's family was also in court.  They openly wept and hugged each other when they heard the sentence.