La Salle County prosecutor says Marseilles man admitted to killing his father

Logan Petre to be held on murder charge until a June 26 detention hearing

Logan M. Petre

A Marseilles man will be detained until at least next week on a newly filed murder charge. Prosecutors said Logan Petre struck his father in the head and strangled him early Saturday.

Petre, 21, appeared Monday in La Salle County Circuit Court and was charged formally with first-degree murder. If convicted of killing Leo Petre, Logan Petre could be sentenced to 20 to 60 years in prison with no possibility of probation.

Logan Petre has three open cases and, under a wrinkle in the Illinois murder statute, he could face back-to-back prison sentences for up to 90 years if also convicted of home invasion charge from a summer 2023 break-in.

Public Defender Ryan Hamer appeared with Petre and asked for additional time to review evidence in Leo Petre’s death before arguing over whether Logan Petre should remain in custody while awaiting trial for murder.

La Salle County Circuit Judge Cynthia M. Raccuglia agreed and scheduled a detention hearing at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 26.

Petre, who sat heavily manacled in court Monday, looked away a few times as La Salle County State’s Attorney Joe Navarro read aloud the emerging facts behind Leo Petre’s death early Saturday.

According to open-court statements, Marseilles police were dispatched twice to the Petre residence. The first time, Navarro said, was shortly before 10 p.m. Friday when police said Logan was intoxicated and creating a ruckus outside the home. Leo Petre persuaded his son to go inside and Marseilles police left without filing charges, Navarro said.

Police were back less than four hours later after being alerted Leo was found unresponsive and had numerous injuries to his head, face and neck, Navarro said.

Logan Petre was interviewed and admitted there had been a verbal argument, Navarro said. He acknowledged striking and choking his father, Navarro said, and provided statements.

“I did what I did, but you have no proof,” Petre told police, according to Navarro. Later in the interview, he he told police, “If he was going to die, I’m glad I did it,” according to Navarro.

Navarro said after Monday’s hearing the evidence showed Logan beat his father with his fists, not with a bludgeoning instrument, although an autopsy showed Leo Petre died by strangulation. The autopsy, Navarro said, showed prolonged choking and in a duration that precluded accidental death.

Trial dates are pending and won’t be addressed until after detention is settled on June 26. Petre might appear sooner. His case is assigned to Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr. and prosecutors have filed a motion for substitution of judge, citing a statutory provision that lets prosecutors ask to switch judges without explanation.

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