An Illinois man charged for his involvement in a shooting in Beloit and a dramatic car chase in Janesville in August 2018 was sentenced Wednesday in Rock County Court.
Deantionio M. Biffle, 28, of Rockford, was sentenced by Judge John Wood to five years in prison and five years probation as one of two alleged shooters in drug deal-turned-robbery of a 15-year-old Beloit boy in the 700 block of Oak Street.
Biffle was sentenced on charges of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and second-degree recklessly endangering safety with use of a dangerous weapon. As part of a plea agreement with the Rock County District Attorney’s Office, he had charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon dropped.
According to court records, Biffle and Deangelo M. Thomas, 22, also of Rockford, met with the teen in a vehicle around 4 p.m. Aug. 1, 2018. Biffle allegedly got out of the vehicle while Thomas allegedly tried to rob the teen. The boy began yelling for help, which was when Charon D. White, now 42, of Beloit, came to the teen’s aid. White and the teen were shot by Biffle and allegedly by Thomas during an altercation in which White tried to take a handgun Thomas is accused of holding, according to court records.
The teen was shot in the leg and White was hit twice in the abdomen. White required emergency surgery and had a piece of one of his fingers shot off in the incident. Both victims survived.
Immediately after the shooting, Biffle and Thomas fled the scene. After an investigation, Beloit police learned Thomas was in Janesville. Officers from Beloit and Janesville located Thomas and Biffle driving in the area of King Street and Grant Avenue in Janesville at around 10 a.m. Aug. 11.
Biffle was driving and nearly struck a Janesville squad car before speeding at around 50 mph in a residential area near an apartment complex in the 2000 block of King Street, according to court records. Police reported that Biffle drove the vehicle through a parking lot near the complex and onto a curb near Lincoln Elementary School where a woman was at a playground with her 1-year-old daughter.
Two handguns were recovered after the chase, and evidence presented Wednesday showed that Biffle discarded one gun after the chase.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Wood said Biffle had refused to cooperate with the investigation and that both shooting victims declined to participate in the presentence investigation.
Biffle said he wants to “live differently” after a life of crime that saw his first police contact when he was 12 and that includes multiple convictions of armed robbery in Winnebago County, Illinois, in 2016; domestic battery in 2014; possession of THC in 2011; possession of a firearm without a FOID card in 2009; and 11 juvenile adjudications between 2004 and 2007, according to court records.
“It’s time for me to really sit down and do something and make a change,” Biffle said, telling Wood he is two courses away from completing his GED. “I apologize for the things that I have done to the community and to the victims. I didn’t want any part of it, now I am sitting here to take responsibility for the things that I have done.”
Wood said Biffle is scheduled to be extradited to Illinois to face a parole violation. He also allowed Biffle to participate in the Challenge incarceration program and substance abuse program. Biffle was granted 459 days of sentence credit.
Thomas has pleaded not guilty in his case. He will appear in court Jan. 22 for a final pretrial hearing.