Man pleads guilty to attempted murder in church attack

By Heartland News

UNION COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - The man accused of beating two elderly women at an Anna church last year pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

Willis E. Bates pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder in connection with the September 28, 2009 attack at the Anna First Baptist Church.

Bates was sentenced to 23 years in prison for each count.

"Today's outcome was the result of extensive discussions with the victims and their families, this outcome was what the families wanted," Edmonds said. "This sentence means that Mr. Bates will serve two decades in prison and that the victims and their families won't have to step foot in a courtroom. The victims, their families, and the community now have closure and certainty regarding this case."

Union County State's Attorney Tyler Edmonds says the women have made a lot of progress and are better.

Copyright 2010 KFVS. All rights reserved.