Monday, June 2, 2014

Angelo Torres -- Death of a Drummer


Bronx Zoo, a four man rock group co-founded in 1988 by drummer Angelo Torres in Belleville, Illinois, was just beginning to attract national attention.  The group recorded their debut album, Lustful Thinking, in New York City in June 1990, and had opened for Blue Oyster Cult, Head East, the Romantics, and Gary Richrath, lead guitarist for R.E.O. Speedwagon.  Following successful dates at L.A.'s Whisky A-Go-Go and City Lights in Dallas, the group's manager predicted Bronx Zoo was "on the very edge" of making it big.  If so, the 26-year-old drummer was not fated to make the trip.  Just before midnight on November 12, 1992, Torres argued with the owner of a well-known crack house in Centreville, Illinois.  The drummer walked to a nearby liquor store in East St. Louis and encountered Alphonso "Capone" Fuller, a 21-year-old two-time convicted felon currently on probation from Menard Correctional Center on a weapons charge, and three of his cronies.  A heated dispute between the men over a car the drummer allegedly swapped Fuller for drugs culminated in the men beating the drummer and forcing him into the trunk of a car.  Fuller and friends drove the car back to the crack house where "Capone" picked up a 9mm automatic pistol.  Cruising for a couple of hours, Fuller stopped the car around 3:30 A.M. in the 100 block of 80th Street in a residential section of Centreville.  According to Delando Bell, 19, one of the abductors in the car who later cut a deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony, Fuller lifted Torres from the trunk and pointed the weapon at him.  When the gun jammed, Torres turned and ran making it about 150 feet before the pursuing Fuller brought him down with two rounds.  Fuller's gun jammed again, but he managed to finish the execution-style killing with a fatal chest shot delivered from less than two feet away.  Torres died two hours later in St. Mary's Hospital in East St. Louis.  Arrested days after the crime, Fuller was charged with first-degree murder while his three accomplices pleaded guilty to lesser charges ranging from unlawful restraint, concealing a homicide, and kidnapping, in exchange for their testimony against the triggerman.  Fuller was convicted of the Torres murder in a three-day trial in July 1993 and sentenced to 60 years in prison.  Inmate No. B20288 is, as of June 2014, incarcerated at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center in Pinckneyville, Illinois.  Alphonso "Capone" Fuller is eligible for parole in March 2023.

1 comment:

  1. No reason we should bear the expense of warehousing trash like this. He should have been put to death by public execution.