The Second District Appellate Court of Illinois Tuesday affirmed the natural-life plus 45-year sentence of Dominic Sanders for the 2017 murder of Andrea Urban.
In his petition seeking either a reduced sentence or a new sentencing hearing, Sanders claimed that the trial court did not adequately consider his rehabilitative potential when imposing his sentences, according to a DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office news release.
On May 4, 2017, at approximately 3:30 p.m., Hinsdale police responded to a 911 call regarding an unresponsive woman in a single-family residence located in the 700 block of Town Place. Upon their arrival at the house, police, along with medical personnel, found Andrea Urban, 51, lying on the kitchen floor with apparent knife injuries to her head and neck. Medical personnel confirmed that Urban was deceased at the home, the release stated.
An investigation conducted by Hinsdale police and the Felony Investigative Assistance Team found that on May 4, 2017, Sanders gained entry to Urban’s house. Once inside, a physical altercation between Sanders and Urban ensued resulting in Sanders repeatedly striking Urban in the head and slashing her throat. After murdering Urban, Sanders stole two rings from the house and fled the scene. On May 25, 2017, Sanders was taken into custody and arrested on an unrelated Will County traffic violation, according to the release.
On Jan. 24, 2020, following a nine-day trial, a jury found Sanders guilty of first-degree murder, home invasion and residential burglary. The jury also found that the murder was exceptionally brutal or heinous indicative of wanton cruelty.
DuPage County Judge Brian Telander sentenced Sanders to natural life in prison without the possibility of parole for Urban’s murder, 30 years for home invasion and 15 years for residential burglary. All three sentences will be served consecutively.
At the sentencing hearing, the state presented evidence of two incidents that occurred while Sanders was in custody awaiting trial. One incident, characterized by the court as “a vicious, unprovoked attack” was against a fellow inmate Steven Kelly in which Sanders was “the main person involved.” The second incident related to Sanders’ attempt to destroy evidence against him.
At sentencing, Telander characterized Urban’s murder as “savagely violent, savagely vicious, utterly wicked and evil.” Telander also found Sanders’ criminal history to be “horrendous,” stating “the public needs to be protected from you forever.” The appellate court disagreed with Sanders’ assertions that the court abused its discretion at sentencing.
In its decision, the appellate court noted that “the viciousness of Urban’s murder was seen again in Kelly’s beating” and consequently, “the trial court reasonably found that defendant lacked rehabilitative potential.” The appellate court concluded that “In this case, the record overwhelmingly supported the trial court’s exercise of its discretion in imposing the defendant’s sentence,” the release stated.
“I thank the appellate court for their thorough analysis of this case and their finding that a sentence of natural life plus 45 consecutive years is not only appropriate, but warranted in this case,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release.”The brutal, merciless murder of Andrea Urban destroyed a loving family and shook the entire community to its core. The appellate court’s decision ensures that Mr. Sanders will spend the rest of his life behind bars, a sentence he has most certainly earned.”