State will not seek death penalty in woman's murder

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State will not seek death penalty in woman's murder

Post  Jennie on Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:39 am

A Lake County prosecutor said today officials will not seek the death penalty for an Antioch man accused of killing his grandmother.

Assistant state's attorney Patricia Fix said the multiple counts of first degree murder against Jeremy Lowrey will provide for a sentence of up to life in prison if he is convicted.

Fix declined to comment on the decision.

Appearing before Associate Judge Theodore Potkonjak, Lowrey, 21, pleaded not guilty to charges he beat and strangled 70-year-old Jeanie Lowrey in her Round Lake Beach home, then set her on fire.

Police said Jeremy Lowrey, of 1255 S. Main St., stole 2 checks from his grandmother on May 16 when he gave her a ride in his car and she left her purse unattended.

The woman confronted Lowrey about the theft the following day, and he became enraged when she said she intended to report him to police.

In a 2 1/2 hour videotaped confession to detectives from the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, Lowrey said he took a phone charger cord and wrapped it around his grandmother's neck.

The woman passed out and fell to the floor, Lowrey told police, and he tried to smother her with a pillow.

The woman kicked Lowrey and struck him with her cane, and Lowrey said he grabbed the cane and struck her with it. He then struck her twice in the head with a large glass ashtray.

Jeanie Lowrey was staggering forward when her grandson stabbed her three times with a kitchen knife. She suffered wounds to the abdomen, side of the neck and center of the neck.

Jeremy Lowrey told police he took a can of turpentine from the garage, poured it over his grandmother as she laid on the floor, and set the room ablaze before fleeing.

The fire burned itself out, but not before incinerating her body, police said.

Lake County Coroner Dr. Richard Keller said an autopsy could not determine the exact cause of death; Jeanie Lowrey died from the total effect of all the injuries.

Fix said 7 of the 16 murder counts against Jeremy Lowrey alleged the murder was committed in an exceptionally brutal and heinous manner, and call for a sentence of life in prison.

6 additional counts allow an enhance penalty of 60 to 100 years in prison because Lowrey is accused of killing a person over 60 years of age.

The final 2 counts provide for the standard sentencing range for murder of 20 to 60 years.

Lowrey is held without bond and is due to appear in court Aug. 13.

(source: Daily Herald)
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