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home : local news : local news

1/6/2014 3:04:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Judge denies motion for new trial
LAWRENCEVILLE - Judge Robert Hopkins has denied a post-trial motion for a new trial for convicted murderer Tyler R. McQueen, paving the way for the 22-year-old to begin serving his 50-year prison sentence.

In Lawrence County Circuit Court Friday afternoon, Hopkins denied defense attorney Matthew Vaughn's motion for a new trial for his court-appointed client, as well as denying a motion to vacate the jury verdict.

Filing a motion for a new trial and a motion to vacate the jury verdict is customary in a murder trial.

McQueen was sentenced on Dec. 23 in the March 24, 2012, slaying of 78-year-old Robert V. Westall. The sentencing came more than seven months after McQueen was convicted of first degree murder in the stabbing death of Westall in a Lawrenceville apartment.

During the post-motion hearing, Hopkins informed McQueen of his right to appeal. Following the hearing, Vaughn said he filed a notice of appeal, also customary in a murder trial.

"We filed with the court a notice of appeal today and the court has appointed counsel for Mr. McQueen on appeal. The Illinois office of the state appellate defender will be representing Mr. McQueen from here on out," Vaughn said.

Vaughn also said he wasn't sure which state facility will house McQueen, who has been in Lawrence County Jail for more than a year and a half. He noted that the Illinois Department of Corrections makes the decision as to which facility prisoners are taken.

McQueen did not make a statement of allocution.


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