By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – A man police said shot three people during two separate, seemingly random incidents in February was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder, and is expected to be sentenced to life in prison next week.
Joseph Alan Bigelow, 20, was convicted in the shooting death of 17-year-old Brittany Burrell on Feb. 11 in the parking lot of Li’L Easy Bar, 978 Dix-Toledo Road. Prosecutors said that Burrell and 23-year-old Derob Mathis were seated in a van at about 1 a.m. when Bigelow entered through the back door and shot both Burrell and Mathis in the head. Both victims were taken to the hospital; Mathis survived his injuries while Burrell died.
Bigelow is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, July 7 before Judge Daniel Ryan. He was convicted of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence, assault with intent to murder and felony firearm possession.
“The defendant, for no apparent reason, fatally shot Brittany Burrell and seriously injured Derob Mathis,” Maria Miller, a Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson, said in a press release.
Bigelow remains awaiting trial scheduled for Monday in another Lincoln Park homicide a week before he killed Burrell. Prosecutors claim that Bigelow shot and killed 55-year-old Dwight Osborn on Feb. 4. Bigelow is charged with second degree murder, punishable by life in prison, in the shooting death of Osborn, who was walking to work at 10:30 p.m. near Montie and Dix-Toledo roads. Osborn was killed after two people approached him from behind; the shooting was captured on video surveillance and shows Osborn trying to run from the two men before being shot in the back.
Police did not file charges against the man with Bigelow, who faces additional charges of assault with intent to rob while armed, also carrying a possible life sentence.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])