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Trial moved in motorcycle fatality case

Bench trial set in sex assault case

MORRISON – The trial of Theresa A. Ruf, charged with reckless homicide and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident in the death of a Sterling motorcyclist, was reset for July 9 Wednesday in Whiteside County Court.

Ruff, whose trial was tentatively set for May 14, has a pretrial hearing June 26.

Ruf, 43, of Chadwick, was driving an SUV on June 5 when she struck motorcyclist Samuel L. Munz, 53, from behind as he was preparing to turn into his driveway.  

And a bench trial was set for July 3 for a Sterling man charged with sexual assault.

Richard M. Fonder, 26, faces 4 to 15 years in prison. He is accused of fondling a 20-year-old woman during a party in November.

Also Wednesday, the following pretrial hearings were rescheduled for May 29:

Brent A. Grove, 28, of Sterling, charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Police say he sexually abused two children younger than 13 in May and June. 

David J. Reese, 27, of Rock Falls, charged with home invasion, armed robbery, and aggravated criminal sexual assault. Police say he pushed his way into a Rock Falls woman’s home on May 31 and demanded money before raping her. 

Lawrence C. Verdick Jr., 59, of Sterling, charged with 38 counts of aggravated child pornography. A search of his home computer, seized in April 2011, turned up sexually explicit images of children younger than 12, Whiteside County sheriff’s deputies say.

Dealon J. Gonzales, 34, of Rock Falls, charged with criminal trespass to a residence and misdemeanor charges of criminal damage to property and theft of less than $500. Police say he kicked his way into a Sterling home on Sept. 16 and stole a cellphone and debit card. 

Troy J. Morgan, 31, of Sterling, charged with six counts of felony theft and two counts of misdemeanor theft. Police say they found numerous stolen scrap items at his home in January.

- Iowans Jeffrey K. Morris and Vauncile M. Ruby, both of Davenport. Morris, 46, is charged with six counts each of burglary and forgery. Ruby, 46, is charged with five counts each of burglary and forgery and one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Police say Morris, Ruby and another person passed counterfeit $20 bills at various stores in Sterling in January. 

Erik J. Morales, 28, of Sterling, charged with criminal damage to property and criminal trespass to a residence. Police say Morales, who was intoxicated, mistakenly broke into a Sterling home in the 100 block of East Eighth Street on Dec. 4, 2011.

Guillermo Santos Swearinger, 26, of Sterling, charged with domestic battery, unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, and possession of a firearm without a FOID card. Police say Swearinger, a convicted felon, battered a relative, then hid a .22-caliber rifle inside a coat and put it in a car that took it to another house.

Jackie G. Ferguson, 35, of Tampico, charged with theft and damage to property. Police say he was found with copper wiring stolen from a Sterling business in August.

Magan J. Fuller, 39, of Sterling, charged with aggravated identity theft. Police say Fuller used personal information from a man older than 60 to obtain utility services in August 2011. 

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