Joliet man found guilty of murder after drug deal turns deadly

A man was found guilty of murder after a drug deal turned deadly on the east side of Joliet in 2018. 

Anthony Francimore, 25, of Joliet, arranged a drug deal with 20-year-old Nathan Ballard in the 500 block of Fox Street on Oct. 28, 2018. 

Prosecutors say Ballard had arranged to buy ecstasy from Francimore and his accomplice Elijah Watson. However, Fancimore planned to rob Ballard of the $75 he intended to use for the drug purchase.

As Ballard handed over the money, Francimore got into a waiting vehicle, with Watson and three others. Ballard and his brother attempted to stop Francimore from leaving with their money. In response, Watson pulled a gun, forcing the brothers to step away.

As the vehicle sped away, Watson fired multiple shots in their direction, one fatally striking Nathan in the chest. 

Francimore used the stolen money to purchase drugs from Watson. The two then fled to the city in an attempt to evade law enforcement.

A jury found Francimore guilty of first-degree murder and armed robbery Friday following a five-day trial. The verdict came on the eve of the five-year anniversary of Nathan’s death.

Francimore's sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2024. He is eligible for a sentence of 21 to 45 years to be served at 85 percent for armed robbery, and 20 to 60 years for murder to be served at 100 percent with a firearm enhancement of 15 years.