Streator shooting trial moved to July 15

Judge sets May 24 pretrial in case Whitfield pleads

Twenty-nine-year-old Malcolm Whitfield of Streator appears before Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023 at the La Salle County Government Complex in Ottawa. Whitfield has been charged with murder for firing shots that hit two others on May 6 in Streator.

A Streator man charged with murder on Friday had his trial moved to midsummer. Attorneys also hinted that there might be a deal forthcoming.

Malcolm Whitfield, 30, also listed in DeKalb, appeared in La Salle County Circuit Court for a final pretrial conference. He was set for jury trial in 10 days for the May 6 shooting of three people including Shaquita Kelly, who died from her gunshot injuries.

However, Whitfield and his lawyer asked for a continuance – not uncommon with complex murder trials – and were given a July 15 trial setting. But in a less-common arrangement, attorneys asked for a final pretrial conference May 24.

Final pretrial conferences usually are held on the cusp of trial, not seven weeks beforehand. Attorneys said in open court that they are in negotiations, which means there could be a trial-averting plea.

Whitfield, who faces a complicated sentencing range up to 145 years, remains held in the La Salle County Jail.

An accessory in the shooting pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to four years in prison. Rachael N. Carter of Streator had entered a blind plea late last year to one count of unlawful possession of a weapon (ammunition) and one count of aiding and abetting a fugitive. She will be paroled shortly after Christmas.

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