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Court Call for Monday, Oct. 8, 2012

Published: Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 11:23 a.m. CDT

Federal court


WIRE FRAUD CASE: Rita A. Crundwell, 59, of Dixon; charged with wire fraud. Prosecutors say the former Dixon comptroller misappropriated more than $53 million between 1990 and her arrest in April. Prosecutors also filed a lawsuit seeking to seize and sell more than 400 horses and other items belonging to Crundwell.

On the docket: Status hearing in both cases.

Lee County


HOMICIDE CASE: Byron E. Adams, 54, of Chicago; charged with three counts of first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle and criminal trespass to a vehicle, a misdemeanor. Police say he suffocated Margaret Atherton, 35, on Sept. 11, 2009, in her Dixon home. 

On the docket: Closing arguments in his murder trial.


DEFAMATION LAWSUIT: Former Dixon School District varsity boys basketball coach and Athletic Director Steve Sandholm filed a defamation lawsuit in March 2008 against nine players’ parents; NRG Media, the parent company of local radio station WIXN; and the station’s general manager. It was dismissed in July 2009 and reinstated in January by the Illinois Supreme Court. 

On the docket: Decision on defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit. 

Whiteside County


MURDER CASE: Nicholas T. Sheley, 33, of Sterling; charged with 25 counts of first-degree murder and one count each of residential burglary, armed robbery, and home invasion in the late June 2008 deaths of Russell Reed, 93, of rural Sterling; Brock Branson, 29; his fiancé Kilynna Blake, 20; her 2-year-old son Dayan; and Kenneth Ulve, 25, all of Rock Falls. 

On the docket: Hearing on prosecutors’ motion to allow certain evidence at his Oct. 22 trial in Reed’s death.

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