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Half-sister of Sidnee Stephens enters open plea to home invasion that led to murder; Other charges dismissed

Posted on 4/9/2014, 9:00 AM

Dakota wall entered an open plea to amended information charging her with home invasion (accountability) in Perry Count Circuit Court on Tuesday, April 8. She was accompanied by her attorney, James Stern.

Judge James Campanella tool the plea. Filing the amended information has the effect of dismissing all other counts against her which included murder, kidnapping and burglary.

A sentencing hearing is set for 9 a.m. on May 21.

Home invasion is a Class X felony with a mandatory prison sentence of six to 30 years and a possible fine of up to $25,000. Wall will be eligible for day for day credit toward whatever sentence Judge Campanella imposes.

The statement of facts entered into the record on April 8 along with the amended information on the home invasion (accountability) charge, states that on July 18 or 19, 2010 Wall intentionally unlocked the door of the home where she and her half-sister lived to allow entry by members of the 'P-Town Saints.'

She believed the 'P-Town Saints' would scare her sister to get her to stop spreading rumors about them.

Carl Dane, James Glazier and Robbie Mueller, all members of the 'P-Town Saints,' entered Stephens' home at 401 W. Water Street in Pinckneyville. Mueller and Dane lifted Glazier onto the balcony where the door had been unlocked by Wall. Glazier then opened a door near Stephens' bedroom to allow Dane and Mueller entry.

Stephens, 15, was sleeping on a couch. The three assailants bound her with tape then choked her until she was unconscious before leaving the home with her.

Stephens' body was found by two people fishing in the Beaucoup Creek Bridge on Cudgetown Road south of Pinckneyville on July 25, 2010. Her body was badly decomposed.

Stephens' mother, Tracy Stephens, helped police with a tentative identification which was confirmed after examination of dental records on July 27, 2010.

Carl Dane pleaded guilty to Stephens' murder in June 2011 and was sentenced to 60 years in prison. He committed suicide in Perry County Jail in August 2011, the night before he was to be transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence.

Glazier and Mueller are incarcerated after being found guilty of first degree murder in separate stipulated bench trials. Glazier is serving a 60-year sentence and Mueller a 50-year sentence. Both have appeals pending.

A fifth defendant in the murder, Chad Bennett, was charged with concealing a homicide death, murder, kidnapping, home invasion and burglary.

In August 2013, Perry County State's Attorney David N. Stanton filed a motion to enter nolle prosequi in Bennett's case. Nolle prosequi indicates the state's desire to not prosecute at this time. Charges may be reinstated at a later date.

Stanton had filed a motion for continuance in Bennett's case on Aug. 16. That motion stated that the people were not ready for trial and that three witnesses- James Glazier, Robbie Mueller and Dakota Wall- had indicated they would not testify against Bennett even though they had been offered immunity from prosecution.

Stanton's motion for continuance stated that Glazier's and Mueller's attorneys had indicated they may change their position on whether or not to testify once their current appeals are completed.

As part of the open plea to home invasion (accountability), Wall agreed to testify, fully, completely and truthfully, in any court proceeding and to cooperate in any further investigation against any person in relation to the death of Sidnee Stephens and all circumstances and events leading up to Stephens' death and events that occurred after Stephens' death.

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