Life in prison awaits LP murderer

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK – A resident convicted of killing a 17-year-old and wounding a 23-year-old will serve life without parole as sentenced Thursday by Third District Court Judge Daniel Ryan.

Joseph Alan Bigelow, 20, was convicted last month 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. Burrell was in a van with 23-year-old Derob Mathis when Bigelow entered through the back door at about 1 a.m., and shot both Burrell and Mathis in the head. Both were taken to the hospital, where Burrell soon died. Mathis was treated and survived the attack.

Bigelow was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder. He was also sentenced to 30 to 50 years for assault with intent to murder, and two years for felony firearm.

A second homicide trial is scheduled for Aug. 23 for charges that Bigelow shot and killed 55-year-old Dwight Osborn on Feb. 4, one week before he killed Burrell. Bigelow is charged with second-degree murder, also punishable by life in prison.

Prosecutors said that Osborn was killed after two people approached him from behind while he was walking to work near Montie and Dix-Toledo roads. The shooting was captured on video surveillance, which shows Osborn being shot in the back while trying to run from two men, one of who is believed to be Bigelow.

(James Mitchell can be reached at