SANDWICH – Three people are facing criminal charges because police say they tied and beat a 16-year-old they suspected of stealing before driving him to Aurora – and recording it in hopes of using it in a music video.
Michael R. Murray, 27, and Casie Alexander, 28, both of the first block of East Railroad Street, have been charged with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, robbery and mob action. Both appeared in DeKalb County Court on Tuesday, where their bond was set at $50,000 each. If convicted of the most serious charge, kidnapping, they could face three to seven years in prison.
A 17-year-old girl faces similar charges and is being held at the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles, Sandwich Police Detective Jennifer Marcellis said.
Police say in court records that the boy visited Murray’s apartment on Friday afternoon, where he said his hands and ankles were tied and he was carried down the back stairs, then stuffed into a van and driven to Aurora. He said his attackers took his shoes, $200 cash and his phone, as well.
Records show Murray told police that he and Alexander tied the teen up with a brown extension cord, and then the 17-year-old beat him.
Murray told officers the shoes and money belonged to the girl, and that they drove the boy to his home in Aurora to retrieve the items he’d stolen from the apartment. Murray also told police he’s a videographer, and that he stopped in Aurora to pick up equipment in order to record the scene in the van for use in a music video, the records show.
Police were called about the situation on Friday, and arrested the three suspects Sunday after officers noticed the van in a parking lot near the apartment just before 10 p.m., the records show.
Marcellis said the 16-year-old boy knew the other three people well.
“There’s a little bit of a history there,” Marcellis said. “This was not a random act of violence.”
Murray was reserved during his court hearing Tuesday, but Alexander vehemently protested her $50,000 bond, which requires her to post $5,000 cash to be released.
“Ma’am, I do not have the means to post $5,000,” she said to Chief Judge Robbin Stuckert. “I’m supporting five people. I’m in graduate school, and I’m going to fight this because I’m not guilty of this. I will lose my job if I wait longer than today, and my whole family is depending on me.”
Public Defender Tom McCulloch said he would file motions to reduce the bond, which will be heard at 9 a.m. Friday.
If either Murray or Alexander post $5,000 in the meantime, they’ll be placed on electronic home monitoring and barred contact with the victim. Both Murray and Alexander say they plan to hire private attorneys.