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Mt. Morris men plead not guilty Tuesday in court

Posted: Thursday, Dec 19th, 2013

Two Mount Morris men pled not guilty in Ogle County court Tuesday in connection with the death of Jonathan Williams. Williams, 18, died from a head injury this past summer following a fight on August 10.

Matthew Steder, 22, was arrested on three counts of a hate crime along with aggravated battery and two counts of battery.

Justin Coltrain, 33, was also been arrested on the charge of a hate crime and battery.

Coltrain and Steder, both white, are accused of starting the fight as they allegedly attacked some black people at the party. Officials say that race was a motivating factor in the altercation.

Witnesses told police that Williams had chased another individual who then struck the teen in self defense. He was carried back into the home in Oregon where he remained for hours before receiving any medical attention.

In court Tuesday, both Steder and Coltrain waived their preliminary hearings and demanded a jury trial. Steder returns to court on March 10th for a pre-trial conference. He is out of jail following the posting of a $25,000 bond.

Coltrain returned to court on Friday for a bond hearing. As press time it was unavailable if he posted bond. He was in jail in lieu of the $100,000 bond.

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