Mokena man charged in Ottawa stabbing poised to stand trial July 25

Swift plea looks shaky after Kendall County charges pushed to late summer

A Mokena man accused of killing an Ottawa woman appears ready to stand trial for murder — for now, anyway.

Michael S. Swift, 30, appeared Thursday for a motions hearing ahead of trial for allegedly killing 21-year-old Grace Taylor in her apartment on Ottawa’s South Side. Swift faces 20 to 60 years if convicted of murder in La Salle County Circuit Court.

The trial is set for July 25 and it looks like a go. Prosecutors announced Thursday they have filed a motion seeking to admit some autopsy photos and that matter will be heard at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 21. Assuming the pre-trial motion is resolved, jury selection would begin the following Monday.

A trial appears increasingly likely now separate but related charges in Kendall County Circuit Court have been moved to Aug. 22. Swift is charged there with murder for hire for allegedly trying to arrange two killings from inside his Yorkville jail cell. (He has since been transferred to McHenry County Jail.)

At one point, attorneys in the case signaled negotiations were under way and a plea agreement might be struck on both the La Salle and Kendall county charges. With the latter now pushed back to late summer, it appears no global resolution is at hand.

Swift stabbed Taylor to death in the overnight hours of April 18-19, 2021, inside her Ottawa apartment, prosecutors said. Ottawa police were advised to check on Taylor after Swift made troubling comments and, according to open-court statements, he provided a detailed statement to police.