Man guilty in Christmas Day slayings of wife, son, neighbor

PONTIAC, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois jury found a man guilty Tuesday of killing his wife, son and neighbor on Christmas Day 2019.

The Livingston County jury convicted Clifford Brewer, 55, of Cullom, of murder in the three slayings. returning the verdicts a few hours after receiving the case.

Brewer told police he woke up to find his wife, Shirley Brewer, 48; his son, Christian Brewer, 27; and his neighbor, Norman Walker, 51, dead in his home. They were all found with single gunshot wounds to their heads.

Prosecutors described Brewer’s deteriorating relationship with his wife and his desire for a divorce.

Walker was invited to the house by Shirley Brewer, and the two drank and played loud music in an upstairs bedroom, court documents said. Clifford Brewer told police he fell asleep and a few hours later, discovered the bodies and a gun near his wife’s body.

Prosecutors said the Brewers’ washing machine was running when officers arrived at the scene, and it was set to sanitize on extra high heat. A raincoat, hat, blanket and pair of slippers were later removed from the washing machine.

The defense argued Shirley Brewer was responsible for her son’s and Norman Walker’s death before a struggle between her and Clifford led to her death.

Brewer could be sentenced to life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 5.

Cullum is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

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