DIXON – Dixon High School shooter Matthew A. Milby Jr. pleaded not guilty today to new charges involving a fight in the jail.
He also pleaded not guilty to amended charges in his attempted murder case, which is moving along and appears headed for an April jury trial.
Milby is charged with two counts of aggravated battery and one of misdemeanor battery in his most recent case, in which investigators say he got into a brawl Aug. 31 with two other Lee County Jail inmates, climbed onto the back of one and tried to strangle him, and struck another. Neither of them were charged.
The felony is punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison on each count.
Bond was set at $25,000, but the 19-year-old already is being held on $2 million bond in the May 16 school shooting.
Today’s new plea was to two counts of attempted murder – one for firing at school resource officer Mark Dallas and one for firing at gym teacher Andrew McKay – and to four counts involving aggravated discharge of a firearm.
Lee County State’s Attorney Matt Klahn dropped a third count of attempted murder, also involving McKay, which, as a matter of procedure, necessitated Milby’s second pleading.
The charge involving Dallas carries 20 to 80 years in prison, with a potential 20-year enhancement; the other carries 6 to 30 years in prison, plus 20 years.
The first two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm carry 10 to 45 years; the other two 6 to 30 years.
All require Milby serve at least 85 percent.
No motive for the shooting has yet been made public, nor has there been any indication of who, if anyone, Milby was targeting.
His attorney, Thomas Murray of Dixon, told Judge Charles Beckman that he is attempting to pin down a ballistics expert, and Klahn said he has handed over all the discovery he has in hand – evidence turned up during the investigation – to Murray.
Beckman set the next pretrial conference for Nov. 29 and the final one for March 12, which also will be the time any motions that might have yet to be filed will be heard.
The trial tentatively is set to start April 18; whether that date will hold depends upon, among other things, the availability of the expert Murray finds to testify, and whether the investigation turns up any new information
Investigators say Milby, a DHS senior, took a 9mm semi-automatic rifle to graduation practice in the Lancaster Gym that Wednesday morning, fired at McKay, who he encountered in a hallway, and took off running seconds later when confronted and pursued by Dallas.
Milby fired at Dallas outside the gym; the Dixon police officer returned fire, hitting Milby in the upper shoulder and hip. Milby was arrested near his car in Page Park.
No one else was injured.
The Illinois State Police is the lead investigating agency in the shooting.