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Sentencing will go on without man convicted of Bloomington triple homicide

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BLOOMINGTON – The sentencing hearing for a Bloomington man convicted of triple homicide and critically wounding one person will be conducted next week without him present in the courtroom.

Sydney T. Mays Jr., 25, refused to reappear in court Monday for a sentencing hearing after he had attended a Krankel hearing where he argued he had ineffective counsel during his trial.

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Sydney Mays Jr. of Bloomington talks with a member of his legal team in the courtroom at the Law and Justice Center Jan. 25 as he faces charges that he murdered Nate Pena, Corey Jackson and Juan Carlos Perez and injured Pena's minor son June 18, 2018.

His defense lawyer, Michael Clancy, withdrew from the case in April after a “breakdown in communication” with Mays.

Mays was found guilty in a February bench trial of nine counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm.

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Sydney Mays Jr. of Bloomington listens to charges filed against him at the Law and Justice Center Monday, Jan. 25. He faces charges that he murdered Nate Pena, Corey Jackson and Juan Carlos Perez and injured Pena's minor son, June 18, 2018.

Killed in the shooting were Nate Pena and Corey Jackson, both 22, and Juan Carlos Perez, 33, on June 18, 2018, at a Riley Drive apartment in Bloomington. Pena’s son, who was 4 years old at the time, was paralyzed.

Mays refused to attend court again Wednesday, but he appeared via video conference from the McLean County jail. A sentencing hearing is set for Oct. 15.

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Sydney Mays Jr. of Bloomington arrives in court on Jan. 25. 

The court appointed Brian McEldowney of the McLean County Public Defender’s Office to represent Mays at his sentencing hearing.

Sentencing delayed for Bloomington man convicted of killing 3

During a Wednesday Zoom video, Judge Casey Costigan reminded Mays of his rights at his sentencing hearing. Costigan stated several times to Mays that the sentencing hearing will take place without him, which Mays agreed he understood.

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Judge Casey Costigan reads charges against Sydney Mays Jr. of Bloomington in the courtroom at the Law and Justice Center on Jan. 25. 

McEldowney said based on Mays’ desires, he will ask the court to file a notice of appeal after the sentencing.

Mays faces up to life in prison.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with Acting U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois Douglas J. Quivey, Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly and Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright, have announced initiatives the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is utilizing to protect children from online predators. READ MORE HERE.


Contact Kade Heather at 309-820-3256. Follow him on Twitter: @kadeheather

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