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Press Release-Michael Mernack Sentenced


Date: Friday, October 26, 2018

October 26th, 2018

State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato

 

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato announces that Michael E. Mernack (D.O.B. 9/15/1980) was sentenced to Natural Life plus 45 years, with an additional two concurrent sentences of 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections by the Honorable Judge Joseph McGraw. Mernack was found guilty of First Degree Murder, Attempt First Degree Murder, Aggravated Battery and Home Invasion after a jury trial in August.  

 Michael Mernack Mug

On December 28th, 2016, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police were called to 1028 Minns Drive in Machesney Park after a report that a child was being battered. When Deputies arrived they saw the defendant, Michael Mernack, who was armed with a handgun. Police advised Mernack to stop, and drop his weapon, but the defendant pointed the gun at the approaching Deputies. Both Deputies fired at Mernack, who was struck by the gunfire. Mernack was taken to the hospital, where he was treated and taken in to custody. Officers then found the body of a 16 year old child lying on the floor of the apartment complex, who was pronounced deceased.  Another victim, Cheryl Puckett, grandmother of the children, was also inside of the apartment with a gunshot wound to the face.  She was taken to the hospital and survived.  A subsequent autopsy on the teenager found she died as a result of being both shot and stabbed. A third person, who was only 6 years old at the time, was also located hiding inside the apartment and was not hurt.  Detectives determined that Mernack was in a dating relationship with the 16 year old’s mother, but that the two had broken up before the shooting.

 

First Degree Murder is a Class M Felony that is punishable by a sentence of 45 years -Natural Life in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by three years of Mandatory Supervised Release.  Mernack was sentenced to Natural Life in the Illinois Department of Corrections for this offense which will be served at 100 percent.

 Home Invasion is a Class X Felony that is punishable by a sentence of 21-45 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by three years of Mandatory Supervised Release.  Mernack was sentenced to 45 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for this offense. This sentence will be served consecutive to the First Degree Murder sentence and will be served at 85 percent.

Attempt First Degree Murder is a Class X Felony that is punishable by a sentence of 6-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and two years of Mandatory Supervised Release. Mernack was sentenced to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for this offense. The sentence will be run concurrent to all other charges and will be served at 85 percent.

Aggravated Battery with a Firearm is a Class X Felony that is punishable by a sentence of between 6-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and two years of Mandatory Supervised Release.  Mernack was sentenced to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for this offense. The sentence will run concurrent to all other charges and will be served at 85 percent.

 

CONTACT PERSON:

Alternative Justice & Outreach Coordinator

Katie Zimmerman

815-319-4725

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