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Suspect in Ottawa stabbing death to plead guilty? Swift negotiating on murder charges

A Mokena man accused of killing an Ottawa woman is negotiating with La Salle County prosecutors and has made some “progress,” his lawyer said Thursday in open court.

Michael S. Swift, 30, appeared Thursday for a motions hearing ahead of trial for allegedly killing 21-year-old Grace Taylor in her apartment on Ottawa’s South Side. Swift, who faces 20-60 years if convicted of murder, was set for trial Feb. 14.

Now, the trial is on hold. Public Defender Tim Cappellini advised Swift’s judge he’s in negotiations on the Taylor killing and made enough headway to postpone the trial, at least for the time being.

Judge Cynthia M. Raccuglia set a March 3 status hearing.

The status hearing was set a month out so Cappellini and Swift can reckon with charges in Kendall County, where Swift allegedly tried to arrange two killings while housed in the jail in Yorkville. (He has since been transferred to McHenry County.)

While terms of any deal in La Salle County were not disclosed in open court, a guilty plea had been considered possible given what so far has been disclosed about the Taylor killing. Authorities disclosed Swift gave a statement that led to the filing of abuse of a corpse, an allegation that would limit Swift’s options before a jury.

Swift’s options might be even more limited since Kendall County authorities alleged Swift, in September, approached “multiple inmates in an attempt to hire someone to murder a judge and a police officer.”

He was charged Nov. 23 with two counts of solicitation of murder for hire, and two counts of solicitation of murder, all Class X felonies with a special sentencing range of 15-30 years — and that would be served back-to-back with whatever prison time he might draw on his La Salle County charges.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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