Police & Courts

Jury selection starts Monday for teen facing murder charges

Antonio Sanchez
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 5, 2018 6:10 pm Updated: Sep. 5, 2018 6:25 pm

CARTHAGE, Ill. -- Jury selection starts Monday in the case of a Hamilton teenager charged in the New Year's Day shooting death of a LaHarpe woman.

Antonio Sanchez, 17, was in court Wednesday for his final pretrial hearing.

Sanchez has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery in the shooting death of 19-year-old Madison Finch, who was a freshman at Illinois State University.

He is accused of shooting Finch with a .22-caliber gun during a New Year's Eve party at Finch's home at 106 Conch Drive in LaHarpe.

During the hearing, Sanchez's attorney, Drew Schnack, said he submitted a proposed jury instruction to let the jury consider the charge of involuntary manslaughter.

"Whether or not the judge gives it is based upon the evidence," Schnack said.

At last month's pretrial hearing, Judge Raymond Cavanaugh said 600 jury questionnaires were sent out, with 227 returned.

Sixty prospective jurors will be brought in each day until 12 jurors and four alternates are selected.

The trial is expected to last at least two weeks. The state's witness list has 41 potential witnesses, including multiple personnel with the Illinois State Police, the Hancock County Sheriff's Department and the state police's Morton Forensic Science Laboratory.

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

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