June 26, 2022
Local News

Local News

Suspect in bow and arrow killing remanded to La Salle County

French to appear next week for trial setting, likely in 2021

Nearly 10 months after an appeals court overturned his murder conviction, a Varna man has finally been returned to La Salle County to stand trial again in a bow-and-arrow killing in 2015.

Bradley French, 27, is back in La Salle County Jail with bond set at $2 million, according to a Monday intake report. French is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly firing a hunting arrow at Joshua Scaman, who bled to death in a remote parking lot at Illinois Valley Community College.

French is set to appear next Tuesday, Nov. 24, for a status hearing before Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr., who could set a new trial; but it is unlikely to be scheduled during the remainder of 2020. Having just been remanded, French has not had an opportunity to meet face-to-face with his court-appointed lawyer, and all parties will hesitate sending for jurors with the novel coronavirus again on the upswing.

French had been a holding pattern since Jan. 31, when an appeals court threw out his murder conviction in the Scaman killing. French was barred at trial from arguing self-defense. That, ruled the 3rd District Appellate Court ruled, was a mistake.

The appellate prosecutor appealed the reversal to the Illinois Supreme Court, but the state’s top court refused to hear it.

With the appellate court ruling now final, French was transferred from the Illinois Department of Corrections to stand for a fresh trial in La Salle County.

Tom Collins

Tom Collins

Tom Collins covers criminal justice in La Salle County.