Two sentences in murder cases came down in one week in Kane County courts.
The sentences total 80 years of prison time for convictions in a 2015 Aurora murder and a 2014 Carpentersville murder.
23-YEAR-OLD AURORA MAN GETS 55 YEARS FOR 2015 MURDER
SHOT 19-YEAR-OLD TO DEATH OVER SMALL AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA
An Aurora man is headed to prison for shooting and killing someone over a small amount of marijuana.
Kane County Circuit Judge Donald M. Tegeler, Jr., on May 24 sentenced 23-year-old Leon D. Williams to 55 years’ imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the Nov. 7, 2015, murder of 19-year-old Daniel Sanchez of Aurora. The sentence includes a mandatory 25-year enhancement because Williams personally fired the gunshots that killed Daniel Sanchez.
Williams on March 15, 2018, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.
Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney William Engerman stated in court that on Nov. 7, 2015, Daniel Sanchez agreed to sell a small amount of marijuana to Williams and the co-defendant. The three met at about noon at a location they had agreed upon.
Sanchez got into the back seat of a car driven by the co-defendant. Williams also was in the back seat. They drove a short distance to the 600 block of Elmwood Drive to complete the drug deal. While in the car, Williams attempted to rob Sanchez of his money and the marijuana.
Sanchez got out of the car and tried to run away. Williams chased him and fired two shots from a .25 caliber handgun, striking Sanchez in the leg and head.
Williams returned to the car and he and the co-defendant immediately fled. Police arrived a short time later and found Sanchez lying on the ground bleeding. He was pronounced dead at Good Samaritan Hospital. The investigation led police to Williams and the co-defendant. While being interviewed by police, Williams admitted that he tried to rob Sanchez and shot him twice.
According to Illinois law, Williams must serve the full sentence. He receives credit for 924 days served in the Kane County jail, where he has been held since his arrest.
Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said the consequences of Williams’ actions are tragic.
“I don’t know if Leon Williams thought about whether Daniel Sanchez’s life was worth a small amount of marijuana and some cash. He clearly did not consider the violent nature of his actions, nor did he consider his own freedom. His decision to commit a violent crime over a small amount of illegal drugs destroyed two families, and demonstrated the serious threat that drugs pose to the community.
“As Daniel’s mother said to the court during today’s sentencing hearing, this didn’t have to happen. They could have let Daniel run away. Guns and drugs are a bad combination, and violent crimes deserve severe punishment. That’s why Mr. Williams will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison. My thanks to the Aurora Police Department and ASAs Engerman and Matthew Rodgers for their hard work in this case,” McMahon said.
The charges against the co-defendant are not proof of guilt. The co-defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
CARPENTERSVILLE WOMAN GETS 25 YEARS IN PRISON FOR 2014 STABBING MURDER OF SISTER
PLEADED GUILTY BUT MENTALLY ILL TO FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN FEBRUARY
A Carpentersville woman has been sent to prison for stabbing her older sister to death in 2014.
Associate Judge Linda Abrahamson on Thursday, May 17, 2018, sentenced 57-year-old Sandra L. Baumgartner to 25 years’ imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the Sept. 29, 2014, murder of 57-year-old Sharon Baumgartner of Carpentersville.
Sandra Baumgartner on Feb. 2, 2018, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to first-degree murder.
In this case the finding of guilty but mentally ill means that the defendant may receive appropriate mental health treatment as available from IDOC.
Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Cullen stated in court that on Sept. 29, 2014, Sandra Baumgartner stabbed her sister, the victim, multiple times with a knife. A psychologist later diagnosed Sandra Baumgartner with schizophrenic affective disorder bi-polar type.
According to Illinois law, Baumgartner must serve 100 percent of the sentence. She receives credit for 1,325 days served in the Kane County jail, where she has been held since her arrest.
Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said mental health issues are a backdrop to many crimes.
“This defendant is a dangerous person who suffers from a significant mental illness. Incarceration is the only way to keep the public safe from her. I wish there were better alternatives and opportunities for treatment,” he said. “This sentence removes her from the community for what will likely be the rest of her life. My thanks to the Carpentersville Police Department for its hard work in this case and for the response to a very violent and difficult crime scene.”