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Press Release-Dakota Graff Indictment


Date: Thursday, September 5, 2019

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September 5th, 2019

State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross

 

     Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross announces that a third man has been indicted by a Grand Jury for his alleged role in a murder that happened in Rockford in May.

     On May 25th, 2019, Rockford Police Detectives began investigating after a man named William Pickering was reported missing.  Detectives conducted a follow up investigation that lead them to a wooded area in rural Winnebago County.  Human remains were located and they were identified as Pickering. A subsequent autopsy conducted by the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office found that Pickering died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. The investigation was reviewed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office and charges were authorized against three individuals, William V. Arzate (DOB: 6/14/1997), Manuel G. Ramirez (DOB: 5/2/1997) and Dakota J. Graff (DOB: 7/9/1998). Graff was recently indicted by a Winnebago County Grand Jury on First Degree Murder, Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder, Concealment of a Homicidal Death and Obstruction of Justice charges.

 

     First Degree Murder is a Class M Felony that is punishable by a sentence of 20-60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with a possible extended term sentence of up to Natural Life followed by three years of Mandatory Supervised Release.

      Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder is a Class 1 Felony that is punishable by a sentence of 4-15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by two years of Mandatory Supervised Release.

            Concealment of a Homicidal Death is a Class 3 Felony that is punishable by a sentence of 2-5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by one year of Mandatory Supervised Release.

            Obstruction of Justice is a Class 4 Felony that is punishable by a sentence of 1-3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by two years of Mandatory Supervised Release.

     Graff is currently in custody at the Winnebago County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 9:00am on September 12th, 2019 in front of the Honorable Judge Randy Wilt in Courtroom B at the Winnebago County Justice Center.  

     Arzate is scheduled to be in court at 9:00am on October 1st, 2019, in front of the Honorable Judge Joseph McGraw in Courtroom A at the Winnebago County Justice Center.

     Ramirez is scheduled to be in court at 9:00am on September 10th, 2019, in front of the Honorable Judge Randy Wilt in Courtroom 478.

 

     The charges are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.

 

 

 

CONTACT PERSON:

Alternative Justice & Outreach Coordinator

Katie Zimmerman

815-319-4725

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