Police & Courts

Teen charged with murder to enter negotiated plea

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 11, 2018 10:42 am Updated: Sep. 11, 2018 5:23 pm

CARTHAGE, Ill. — The trial of a Hamilton teenager charged in the New Year's Day shooting death of a LaHarpe woman was canceled early Tuesday as he is expected to enter a new plea Wednesday.

Antonio Sanchez, 17, waived his right to a jury trial in Hancock County Circuit Court after a fully negotiated plea was reached. No details of the plea were provided in court.

This comes after eight jurors were selected Monday and jury selection was set to continue Tuesday. The trial was expected to last two weeks.

Sanchez faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery in the shooting death of Madison Finch, 19, who had just completed her first semester at Illinois State University.

Questioned by Judge Raymond Cavanaugh, Sanchez, who wore a blue polo shirt with khaki trousers, said he understood what it meant to waive the jury trial. He initially entered a not guilty plea on April 19.

Prospective jurors were seated in the courtroom for 30 minutes before courthouse security moved them back to the jury room telling them “issues were being addressed.”

Court started at 10:30 a.m. — 90 minutes after it was scheduled to start.

Sanchez's attorney Drew Schnack declined to comment.

Sanchez continues to be held in the Hancock County Jail without bond. He is segregated from adults in jail.

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