DaQuan Barnes, 21 was sentenced to 60-years in prison in a plea offer for the murder of Yoko Cullen, 85. Had he went to trial, he would have faced life in prison. He pleaded guilty to 1st Degree Murder with St. Clair County Prosecutors. He will be officially sentenced on 30-October 2013. Barnes set fire to the victim and burned her alive in May 2011. Reportedly, Barnes, along with LaTosha Cunningham, 39 and DeMarcus Barnes, 30; all of Belleville, IL were charged in the crimes and their sentences and pleas are pending at this time. The suspects staked out Yoko Cullen, 85, at a Collinsville, bingo hall where she played bingo on occassion. They carjacked her and forced her into the trunk of her vehicle. The drove to East St. Louis and then set the car on fire with Yoko locked inside the trunk. The suspects are accused of beating Cullen with a tire iron, leaving her in the trunk of her car in East St. Louis, and setting her car on fire.
The Auto Theft Task Force found the car last Friday morning at 11th and Falling Springs Road near Route 3 in East St. Louis. Authorities said the body was found in the trunk of the car. Family members said they last saw Cullen between noon and one Thursday afternoon in Belleville. She was reported missing by family members at 7:29 Friday morning.
The suspects used the victim's credit cards.