A judge has refused to lower bail for a teen charged with firing shots at an Illinois high school as seniors met for graduation rehearsal.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposal to reinstate the death penalty for certain violent crimes and other changes he made to gun legislation will get a House hearing. 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A Peoria man convicted of beating and severely burning  a 2-year-old girl by putting her into a scalding hot shower to punish her has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. 

One of the defense attorneys for former Governor Rod Blagojevich is running for Illinois attorney general.

July was another dangerous month in Chicago, with 74 homicides reported.

Peoria County Jail Records

A Peoria man, with a nearly decade long criminal history of violence against women and children, is being charged in the murder of his girlfriend.

Peoria County Man Sentenced for Possessing Child Porn

Jun 15, 2017
Peoria County Jail Records

A Peoria County man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for receiving and possessing child pornography.

On Tuesday, a US District Judge ordered that 61-year-old Richard L Sills, of Mapleton, remain on supervised release for another 10 years, following his release from incarceration.


A news release from the Justice Department says a forensic examination of Sills’ home and computer turned up more than a thousand images and 73 videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Police in Springfield have reported a rising number of copper thefts with rising temperatures. 

Illinois senators have overwhelmingly approved a plan to make it harder for authorities to confiscate property from innocent owners.
The Senate endorsed the measure 56-0 Wednesday. It'll head to the House.
The plan would place the burden of proof on law enforcement when seizing a person's property in connection with a suspected crime. Current law allows authorities to confiscate property without even charging an owner for participating in illegal activity. The practice has been sharply criticized.

CHICAGO (AP) - A nonprofit organization says people living in poverty in Illinois are more likely to become violent crime victims than higher wage earners whether they live in cities, suburbs or rural areas. However, geographic disparities persist. 

Michael Puente / Periscope

Some top law enforcement officials in Chicago are weighing in on what they would want the federal government to do to quell the violence.

At a forum prior to Trump’s speech, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he would welcome federal money for mental health programs and economic development. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says if funds are reduced for mental health programs, that would hurt efforts to stem the violence. In his speech to a joint session of Congress, President Trump said more than 4-thousand people were shot in Chicago last year.

Tony Webster / Flickr/Creative Commons

Peoria saw its first homicide of the new year Monday night.

The name of the deceased male has yet to be identified. The Peoria Police Department says officers responded to reports of a shooting near the 1800 block of North Sheridan Avenue. 

The PPD says when officers arrived around 8:00 pm, they found the male victim outside of a residence with an apparent gunshot wound. 

Children Often Victims of Chicago Violence

Jan 3, 2017
infinity7664 / Flickr

Chicago’s violent year was especially dangerous for the city’s children. Dozens of young kids were shot in 2016 before reaching high school age. Police data show that last year, there were 41 shootings that killed or wounded children younger than 14. That’s way more than any time in the last 10 years. And its more than double the number of child victims in 2015. Illinois Public Radio’s Patrick Smith reports.

Chris Yarzab / Wikimedia Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - The number of arrests in Chicago fell approximately 28 percent this year.The number is on target to be the lowest since at least 2001.

A new survey argues criminals should get rehabilitation rather than punishment. The recommendation comes straight from crime victims themselves.

The study says one in three Illinoisans have been a victim of crime in the last decade. More likely to be victimized are people who are younger and lower-income, as well as blacks, Latinos and residents of Chicago.

Lenore Anderson is president of the Alliance for Safety and Justice, which commissioned the survey. She says contrary to the conventional wisdom, a majority of victims do not support long prison sentences.

Peoria County Jail Records

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A Peoria County judge has sentenced a 21-year-old man to 43 years in prison for the death of his 4-month-old son in March.

Marcus Shockley Jr. of Peoria pleaded guilty in the death of Marcus Shockley III and was sentenced Wednesday. Prosecutors say Shockley threw the baby on a bed, slapped the child and bit him on the shoulder. The baby was declared brain dead and died March 10. Doctors said the baby was bruised and suffered brain swelling and bleeding.

 The child's mother, 20-year-old Shanterryona A. Anderson, is serving a 30-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to endangering the life or welfare of a child.

Woodford County Jail

EUREKA, Ill. (AP) - A Bloomington high school teacher has been charged with first-degree murder in her husband's stabbing death.

Bond is $1 million for 30-year-old Sarah Mellor of Bloomington, who teaches Spanish at Bloomington High School. Prosecutors say 31-year-old Mark Mellor of Bloomington was stabbed late Saturday during an argument with his wife at a private campsite in rural Woodford County. Sarah Mellor remains jailed at the Woodford County jail in Eureka.

 Prosecutors say relatives drove Mark Mellor from the campsite to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. Sunday. The McLean County coroner said preliminary autopsy results found he died from a stab wound to the chest.

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A man armed with a semi-automatic rifle held up a Circle K store in Peoria Wed.

The suspect emptied the cash drawer and fled the scene. The robbery took place around noon at the station, located at the intersection of Knoxville and Lake Ave.

Peoria police are still searching for the suspect, described as a man in his 20s. He was wearing all black with a gray handkerchief around his face during the time of the incident, according to police scanner traffic.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

One person is dead and another wounded following two separate shootings by Chicago police. The police shootings happened less than an hour apart early last night on the city’s South Side.

Police say a little before 7:00 P.M., officers responding to a robbery in progress saw a man fleeing with a weapon near Ogden Park. When he did not follow their orders to drop it,  they shot him twice in the legs. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

U-S Senator Dick Durbin says he's glad Illinois has a stop-gap budget. But he says the year-long budget crisis didn't help reduce violence in Chicago.

Durbin spoke Sunday about last week’s killings of two black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota and the subsequent killings of five law enforcement officers in Dallas during a peaceful rally.

He says the budget stalemate exacerbated the problems people in the poorest neighborhoods in the state face... like drug trafficking and gang activity.

mikecogh / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois couple has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for kidnapping and transporting a minor across state lines with intent to engage in sexual activity. 

Thirty-seven-year-old Nicole and 46-year-old Calvin Eason were sentenced Tuesday by Chief U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, who also ordered each to serve a lifetime term of supervised release.  

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he expects crime will spike "at some point" because the state budget impasse is leading to cutbacks of a juvenile offender program.   Rauner says data doesn't show any increase in crime since several counties have been forced to close Redeploy Illinois. But he says "it will."

Lauren Chooljian / WBEZ

Chicago’s Police Superintendent says everyone has a role in reducing crime but the effort must start at home. Illinois Public Radio’s Michael Puente reports.

Nearly 60 people were wounded in gun violence with six dead over the three-day Memorial Day weekend.And that’s with a heavy police presence around the city, says Chicago’s top cop Eddie Johnson.

JOHNSON: I wish I could track the number of crimes we prevented but we can’t. There is simply not a way to measure the violence that we stopped.

James Cridland / Flickr



Illinois leaders are seeking to eliminate one big - and stupid - roadblock for ex-prisoners looking to get their life on track. 

Right now it can be really difficult for people leaving prison to get a state ID. 

That makes it next to impossible for them to find housing, treatment and a job, and without those things, it’s likely they will wind up back in prison. 

Jennifer Vollen Katz, with prison watchdog the John Howard Association, says it is ridiculous for the state to force prisoners to prove their identity. 

Chicago gun violence on the rise

Mar 1, 2016

Gun violence in Chicago is way up this year. IPR’s Patrick Smith reports.

According to Chicago Police Department statistics, 43 people were murdered in February and 187 people were shot. That brings the total murders so far this year to 95 - almost twice the number in the first 60 days of 2015. A police spokesman says the level of violence in the city is unacceptable. He blamed most of the shooting on gang conflicts. In response, police say they’re deploying 100 newly trained sergeants and increasing gang interventions.

Peoria County Jail Records

A District 150 teacher has been placed on administrative leave following her arrest Tuesday.

28-year-old Veronica Dixon is a first-year 7th grade teacher at Trewyn K-8 School, the District said in an email to the media.

Peoria Public School’s spokesman says Dixon was arrested following a police investigation.

Records from Peoria County Jail say she was arrested on charges of sexual assault.

The District says it's cooperating with the Peoria Police officers, who are handling the investigation.

A Missouri woman who pleaded guilty to breaking into a Quincy museum has been sentenced to three years in prison.

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A man is accused of strangling his mother in front of his 11-year-old son because she bothered him while he was sleeping in her East Peoria home. 

Thirty-four-year-old Justin Noward was charged Monday with aggravated domestic battery.  Noward has accumulated more than 14 years in prison sentences over the past 13 years, and he faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted as a repeat offender on the latest charge.

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago police say a person of interest has turned himself or herself in for questioning in the fatal shooting of a 9-year-old boy on the city's South Side.

A spokesman for Superintendent of Police Garry McCarthy has confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that a person of interest was being interviewed Wednesday night about the shooting death of Tyshawn Lee.

  Police say the fourth-grader was shot in the head and back Monday afternoon near his grandmother's house in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.