Two Chicago men pleaded guilty Feb. 3 to charges that they robbed a New Lenox Township home while the owner's dead body decomposed in another room.
John H. White, 21, and David D. Reed, 23, were charged last year with residential burglary, a Class 1 felony, and now face four to 15 years in state prison.
The investigated the murder of township resident Dwight Jones, . An investigation led police to Rodney Julun, who was charged with murder and awaits trial.
Sheriff's Department spokesman Ken Kaupas said Julun proceeded to call Reed and White, and over the ensuing two days the three men stole numerous items, including Jones' car, electronics, cash and jewelry. Some of the items were recovered from the homes of Reed and White, prosecutors said.
Reed and White testified they didn't know there was a dead body in the home until they arrived. The co-defendants were because attorneys believed the two might have "divergent interests" and testify in opposition to each other.
But on Friday, the two men stood in front of the judge and took turns acknowledging their guilt, afterward giving each other a brief look before staring down at the floor. Reed was originally called up for his plea and said he would plead guilty, but then asked for more time to talk with his attorney. About an hour later, he and White made the plea official.
and said, against the advice of his attorney, "I know I can prove my innocence." He's charged with first-degree murder, home invasion, residential burglary, robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Julun is scheduled to appear in Will County Court on Feb. 29 for a pretrial hearing. Reed and White are due back to court April 13 to receive their sentences.