MOUNT CARROLL – The man accused of beating a DCFS worker nearly to death has pleaded not guilty once again, this time to attempted murder.
Andrew Sucher, 25, of Rock Falls, pleaded not guilty Oct. 6 to aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, and aggravated battery of a state employee, each of which carries 2 to 5 years in prison.
He has since been indicted and pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree murder, which carries at least 6 to 30 years in prison, and the two battery charges, each of which carries 2 to 5 years.
He is in Carroll County Jail on $200,000 bond, and has a pretrial hearing Monday at 10:30 a.m. For now, his trial is set for the week of Jan. 30; the new charge might necessitate a change.
He's accused of kicking Pam Knight, 59, in the head so severely on Sept. 29 that he fractured her skull and left her in a coma.
The grand jury returned the indictment Dec. 7; Sucher pleaded not guilty the next day.
Knight, of Dixon, worked out of the Sterling Department of Children and Family Services office. She still is recovering at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, but never will be able to return to work, and never will be the same – in fact, she will require medical equipment and support the rest of her life, her husband, Don Knight, has said.
Sucher had been out of jail 3 months, after posting $1,500 of his $15,000 bond in a domestic abuse case in Whiteside County. He is accused of dragging the 6-year-old by the foot and striking him in the face with a squirt gun, and of grabbing a woman by the neck, throwing her against a wall, pushing her down several times and taking her phone away, in an incident that happened July 29.
He is charged with aggravated battery of a child, which carries 2 to 5 years in prison, and battery, domestic battery, and interfering with the reporting of a domestic battery, all misdemeanors
Knight was attacked at his parents' Milledgeville home immediately upon her arrival to take a 2-year-old boy into protective custody as a result of the Whiteside charges.
Sucher pleaded not guilty to those charges on Aug. 14, and a jury trial was set for Nov. 14, but that case now is on hold while the Carroll County case proceeds.
Whiteside County State's Attorney Terry Costello has said he wants to have Sucher's bond increased, to ensure he will be brought immediately to Whiteside County Jail for adjudication once the Carroll County case is resolved.
Sucher seems to have a history of problems controlling his anger. In October 2011, the Milledgeville High School graduate was sentenced to a year of court supervision and anger management treatment for a misdemeanor battery conviction in Carroll County.
A fund has been established at Sterling Federal Bank to help defray the Knights' medical and other expenses.
Donations can be dropped off at any branch, or mailed to 413 N. Galena Ave., Dixon, IL 61021, or to 110 E. Fourth St., Sterling, IL 61081, attention:Tessa.
Please put on behalf of Pam Knight in the memo field.
Cards and well-wishes can be sent to Pamela Sue Knight at the Department of Child and Family Services District Office, 2607 Woodlawn Road, Sterling IL 61081.