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No one to be charged with Oregon teen's death

But 9 charged in incident Wednesday; two with hate crime

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 4:43 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 6:04 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Submitted by Lynda Wade)
Jonathan "Jon" Williams, of Oregon, loved working on his blue Pontiac Grand Prix, driving ATVs and socializing with friends, says his mom, Lynda Wade. Jon died Aug. 11 after being injured in a fight Aug. 10 at an underage drinking party. Ogle County State's Attorney Mike Rock said Wednesday that no one will be charged directly in Williams' death.
Caption
Jonathan "Jon" Williams

OREGON – No one will be directly charged in the August death of Oregon teen Jon Williams, Ogle County State's Attorney Mike Rock said Wednesday.

"We're not going to be able to file a charge against anybody in Jon's death," Rock said. "We don't have anything that would allow us to successfully prosecute that."

But nine people were charged Wednesday with crimes related to the party, during which Williams was hit and later died. Two of those nine were charged with a hate crime.

Facing hate crime charges are Justin Coltrain, 33, of Mount Morris, one count, and Matthew Steder, 22, three counts.

Prosecutors charged Coltrain and Steder with hate crimes because they made racial slurs during the incident, Rock said. Such charges are rare in Ogle County, he said.

Bond was set at $100,000 for Coltrain, who also was charged with battery. Coltrain was in the Ogle County Jail on Wednesday afternoon, but was transferred to the Whiteside County Jail later in the day.

On multiple occasions Wednesday and Thursday, people who answered the phone at the Ogle County Jail told Sauk Valley Media reporters that no information would be given about the people arrested Wednesday. Reporters were told to call the state's attorney's office on Monday.

Steder also was charged with aggravated battery and two counts of battery.

Also charged Wednesday were:

• Brian Galor, 21: delivery of alcohol to a minor

• Maria Coleman, 19: reckless conduct

• Cody Munroe, 18: reckless conduct

• Cameron Clark, 21: reckless conduct

• Kylie Heck, 19, of Oregon: reckless conduct; bond: $10,000

Two juveniles also are charged, Rock said.

During an inquest Nov. 8, Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia ruled Williams' death a homicide.

Inquests consist of a panel of six jurors who consider five different verdicts: accidental, suicide, homicide, undetermined, and unnatural causes.

Panel members hear information about the victim’s death, and they decide the manner of death. The cause of Williams’ death already had been ruled to be “blunt trauma of the head due to a fall as a result of a physical altercation.”

The official manner of Williams’ death, the jury decided, was “homicide (involuntary manslaughter).”

“In this particular case, they felt that even though there was a confrontation with a lot of people, where there were a lot of people fighting, someone punched [Williams] in the face, which caused him to fall to the ground, which caused a head injury, which caused his death,” Fiduccia said.

Rock said, according to witnesses, Williams chased another person, who then hit him in self-defense, which resulted in Williams' fall. Williams was then carried back into the house, where he remained for hours before receiving medical attention.

The fight happened about 3 a.m. Aug. 10, Oregon Police said.

Williams, then 18, was pronounced dead just after noon Aug. 11 at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford.

"The reckless conduct charges all deal with people who did not take action that could've resulted in Jon being OK," Rock said.

Wednesday, the day the charges were filed, was Williams' birthday.

He would have been 19.

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