Berry Has Post Trial Motion on Murder Conviction Denied

By Benjamin Cox on November 11, 2021 at 8:00am

A Jacksonville man convicted of first-degree murder in a 2014 shooting serving 50 years in prison had a motion denied in Morgan County Court this morning.

26 year old Avery T. Berry filed a post trial motion back in February for relief due to ineffective counsel during his 2015 murder trial. Berry’s motion argued that now retired-Springfield attorney Bruce Locher was not effective in defending him at trial for the shooting death of 24 year old Marcus Jackson.

Locher was chided by Circuit Judge Peter Cavanaugh at the October 2015 sentencing hearing for Berry for arriving late to the hearing. During a 2019 filing with the State Appellate Court, Berry said that Locher failed to investigate his mental health history and fitness for court proceedings. The 2019 motion argued that Berry had been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Sangamon County Circuit Chief Judge John Madonia, after reviewing evidence and hearing testimony from witnesses, denied Berry’s motion for ineffective counsel. He was remanded back to the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections, but still has appeal options left in the case.