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A man who was once known as the “mayor” of a homeless encampment in Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced for 20 years in prison for murdering another homeless man over a stolen heater.
George A. Arroyo pleaded guilty to first degree murder this week in the Feb. 2019 slaying of Douglas Robinson, 57, another homeless man who lived at the encampment located in the South Loop.
Arroyo, who was also 57 years old at the time, admitted to shooting Robinson because he believed that the man had stolen his propane heater. The wounded man was taken to a hospital where he later died.
Prosecutors said that Arroyo told them that he also believed Robinson was responsible for the death of his girlfriend a year previous to the shooting. Police said that when Arroyo was apprehended that he had a loaded .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun in his possession.
Other homeless people who lived at the camp said there would often be fights over items donated to the camp, but that it was very rare that these escalated into violence.
“This don’t happen here,” said Kendra McCarroll. “We’re a community here.”
Friends of the murder victim told the Chicago Tribune that Robinson was known as the “Lite-Brite Man” because he would ride around on his bicycle that was wired to light up with Christmas lights.
After the lethal shooting, homeless activists called for the city to house the homeless to avoid more violence.
“Let’s get these people off of the streets, and we don’t have to worry about propane tanks and fires over here or murders,” said Ja’Mal Green according to the Tribune.
The judge also ruled that Arroyo must serve his entire sentence before being released.
Here’s a local news report about the shooting:
[embedded content] Man Fatally Shot In South Loop’s ‘Tent City’ www.youtube.com