A 59-year-old Collinsville man was sentenced to 45 years for the murder of his neighbor after shooting the victim with a shotgun.
Robert T. Beckman (d.o.b. 5/14/61) pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder on December 20, 2019 for the 2018 murder of victim, Daniel R. Lee (d.o.b. 3/6/78). On June 15, 2018, Collinsville Police Department received a 911 call from Gary R. Lee saying his son had been shot in the head. When officers arrived, Lee identified his son’s shooter as “Bob” Beckman, his son’s neighbor.
Lee stated the defendant walked out on his porch, approached his son’s Ford F-150 truck and fired one round into the driver’s side of the pickup truck striking his son in the head. After shooting the victim, Beckman returned his shotgun to his residence and fled the scene in a Chevy Astro van before crashing the vehicle into a guardrail. The Illinois State Police responded to the scene of the crash. After he was taken into custody, Beckman was recorded on a telephone call stating, “There are no words to describe what I did…You knew I had a bad temper; you knew these people pissed me off. I snapped.”
In today’s hearing, Gary Lee spoke on behalf of his son, “The bond we have and still do, is in the depth of my soul, no one can take that away. Not even Robert Beckman.” He continued, “I will never understand how someone can have so much hate in their heart. Bob, you’re a monster. I started to say an animal, but animals care more than you ever could.”
State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons commented on the case, “This was a totally senseless and preventable murder and loss of an innocent life – all because the defendant lost his temper. We are all praying for the family and loved one of the victim that they will find peace and healing after so much suffering. Thankfully, the incredible work of First Assistant State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe and everyone else who contributed to this victory has brought this violent individual to justice and ensured our community will be safe for many decades to come.”
Gibbons recognized his prosecutor First Assistant State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe and Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit, the Collinsville Police Department and the Illinois State Police for providing the comprehensive and immediate investigation to ensure justice for the victim and his family.
“I am pleased that the defendant that will spend the rest of his life behind bars. While nothing can bring Daniel Lee back, this sentence will ensure this defendant cannot hurt anyone else. Thank you to the Collinsville Police Department. I am proud of all their work on this case. Hopefully this maximum sentence will give the family and friends of Daniel Lee some peace and closure,” stated First Assistant State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe. Circuit Judge Richard Tognarelli sentenced Beckman to the maximum sentence under the plea agreement of 45 years. The defendant will serve the remainder of his life in the Illinois Department of Corrections.