PINCKNEYVILLE, IL (KFVS) - One of three suspects charged in the death of a Pinckneyville teenager has pleaded guilty to one of the charges against him.
According to court documents, Carl Dane pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of 1st degree murder in the death of Sidnee Stephens.
He was sentenced to 60 years in prison on a plea deal. The state's attorney says he will serve 100% of the 60 years.
Two other suspects, James Glazier and Robbie Mueller, also face several charges, including 1st degree murder, in connection with her death.
Police allege the three teens entered Stephens' home in July of 2010 with a gun. Investigators believe they strangled and kidnapped her.
Dane's shoes and a sawed off shotgun were found buried in a box at his grandfather's home, according to court documents. Police also found a handgun at Dane's mother's home.
Stephens' body was found in the Beaucoup Creek by two fisherman on July 25, 2010. She'd been shot.
Dakota Wall, Sidnee's sister, was arrested on an obstruction of justice charge.
Sidnee Stephens' mother, Tracy Stephens, said Thursday was an emotional day.
"When I heard the statement about how she was killed read in the court room I was crying," Stephens said. "Once the court room cleared out and I stood up to leave I lost it… and had it not been for a couple of friends, I would have fallen to the floor. They got me into a chair and help calm me down. I think it was just overwhelmed with emotions."
"Today brings somewhat of a sense of relief that this is getting a little closer to the end," Stephens went on to say. "But it's somewhat overwhelming. It's hard to believe it's already been almost a year. But There's still two more cases that have not been to trial. Still it's just one step closer for bringing justice for Sidnee."
Robbie Mueller's final pre-trial hearing is set for July 28 at 9 a.m. His trial date is set for August 15 at 9 a.m.
Mueller has been charged with 10 counts including 1st degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, home invasion, residential burglary, kidnapping, concealment of homicidal death.
James Glazier will be back in court on a motion to suppress hearing set on Aug 3 at 9 a.m.
Glazier has been charged with 10 counts including with 1st degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, home invasion, residential burglary, kidnapping, concealment of homicidal death.
Dakota Wall, Sidnee's older half sister, has a pending motion hearing set for July 28 at 9 a.m.
Heartland News contacted Dane's attorney and he had no comment.
Since Stephen's death, her family has launched a scholarship fund at Pinckneyville High School where she once attended school. This year they gave away one scholarship worth $1,000.
Her family has also started the Sidnee Stephens Bipolar Fund at SIRRS (Southern Illinois Regional Social Services) in Carbondale. Tracy Stephens says Sidnee was bipolar and that's where she got counseling for three years. To help keep the fund going, the second annual poker run, benefit and silent auction is set for September 24 in Du Quoin.