Joliet man sentenced to 100 years in prison

A 29-year-old Joliet man has been sentenced in a 2019 killing. Robert Watson has been sentenced to 100 years in prison in the 2019 killing of a 76-year-old Wisconsin man in the hotel of Harrah’s Casino in Joliet.

A jury found Watson guilty on all four counts of First Degree Murder following an 8-day trial. The jury also found Watson mentally ill, which does not affect his serving his ultimate prison sentence.

On March 24, 2019, Watson fatally stabbed Emanual Burgarino in the fifth-floor hallway of the Harrah’s Casino hotel.  Burgarino was stabbed 26 times and died from injuries sustained as a result of the multiple stab wounds.

Burgarino had been carrying a large amount of cash, and evidence showed that he had been pepper sprayed before the violent attack.

Watson was arrested the following day at the Joliet Public Library’s Ottawa Street Branch. The victim’s blood was found on the Air Jordan gym shoes Watson was wearing at the time of the arrest, as well as on the knife, the striped pants and a sweatshirt he had been wearing, and a pair of latex gloves that video surveillance had captured Watson taking before the murder from a cart located inside a Harrah’s Casino stairwell.