Blayton M. Cota

Blayton M. Cota, 19

MONTICELLO, Ill. (WAND) - A man and two teens are facing murder charges in connection to the shooting death of a man in his Hammond home. 

Authorities said 19-year-old Blayton M. Cota of Granite City and two minors from Springfield at age 16 and 17 are in custody. They are accused of killing 65-year-old Michael Brown with a firearm while committing a burglary.

On Jan. 26, Brown was found dead in his home, located on South C Street in Hammond. The Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigations Zone 5 was requested by the Piatt County Sheriff's Department to help with the death investigation. 

The 16-year-old teen was arrested on Sept. 30, troopers said, and the 17-year-old suspect was taken into custody on Oct. 5. Coda was arrested on Oct. 4 by ISP DCI agents. Each suspect is charged with first-degree murder in Piatt County, which is a Class M criminal felony charge.

Cota is held on a $1 million bond in Piatt County with 10 percent to apply. Both juveniles are held in juvenile detention facilities. 

ISP DCI Zone 5 was helped in the investigation by the Attorney General’s Office of Illinois; the Illinois Department of Natural Resources; the Logan, Menard, Piatt, and Sangamon County sheriff’s offices; the Lincoln, Petersburg, and Springfield police departments; and the Piatt County coroner and state’s attorney’s offices.

Anyone with information regarding this case or other crimes should call the Illinois State Police, Division of Criminal Investigations at (217)278-5004 or by contact them by email at

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