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New charges for accused murderer in Lee County?

Prosecutors seeking amended indictment

Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST
Brian Sigler

DIXON – New or different charges might be levied against a Dixon man accused of murdering his wife, depending on what a Lee County grand jury decides when it convenes July 18.

Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Buh said he couldn’t comment on anything related to the grand jury, which meets in secret, or why he might be seeking an amended indictment against Brian Sigler, 35.

Sigler is charged with first-degree murder in the strangulation of his wife, Yolanda, on Jan. 13, 2013.

Whether the deadly fight between the two was sparked by text messages he found on her phone has been a question, the answer to which might bring an added charge of second-degree murder.

Those text messages – sexual conversations that, the defense says, occurred between Yolanda Sigler and another man – have been sealed by the court.

Sigler’s attorney, James Mertes, has argued that evidence of his client’s state of mind is necessary for a jury to decide whether this is a case of first- or second-degree murder.

According to state law, someone commits the offense of second-degree murder if “at the time of the killing ... [the defendant] is acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by the individual killed.”

First-degree murder involves an element of intent.

Judge Ron Jacobson decided in February that the text messages were inadmissible, although he could reconsider the ruling at trial.

The hearing on a motion asking Jacobson to clarify his February ruling, originally scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed until his next hearing, July 23.

Also Wednesday, Sigler’s trial date was rescheduled for Oct. 20; it is expected to last 2 weeks.

Police say Sigler admitted killing his wife in their home before stabbing himself repeatedly with a knife. He was found bleeding in their upstairs bathroom after their son called 911.

He is in Lee County Jail on $2 million bond.

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