Crime & Courts

Suspect in Ottawa killing now charged with murder-for-hire

Swift accused of trying to hire hit man while jailed in Kendall County

Michael Swift, of Mokena

A Mokena man accused of killing an Ottawa woman now is accused of trying to hire a hitman while jailed in Kendall County, authorities said in a Monday press release.

Michael S. Swift, 30, already faces charges in La Salle County, led by murder, for the April killing of 21-year-old Grace Taylor in her apartment on Ottawa’s south side. Now, Kendall County authorities said he tried to arrange two more murders while housed in the jail in Yorkville. He has since been transferred to McHenry County.

Michael S. Swift

In a press release issued at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Kendall County Sheriff’s Office said detectives were alerted in September when an inmate approached “multiple inmates in an attempt to hire someone to murder a judge and a police officer.” The individuals targeted “were immediately alerted to the threats,” the release said.

“An investigation was initiated during which time the inmate was carefully monitored to ensure the safety of those whom he was attempting to target,” the release said. “An undercover Illinois State Police officer was utilized during the investigation, and the suspect made arrangements with the undercover officer to kill the judge and the police officer.”

Swift was charged Nov. 23 with two counts of solicitation of murder for hire, and two counts of solicitation of murder, all Class X felonies with a special sentencing range of 15-30 years – and that would be served back-to-back with whatever prison time he might draw on his La Salle County charges.

Court records allege Swift “procured an inmate of the Kendall County Jail and an undercover police officer to kill” two individuals, identified only by the initials “C.R.” and “R.T.”

He will next appear in Kendall County on Jan. 5 and in La Salle County on Feb. 3.

Swift had been transferred from La Salle County Jail to Kendall County Jail for reasons not divulged in open court, though Taylor was the daughter of a La Salle County sheriff’s deputy.

La Salle County State’s Attorney Todd Martin said he was aware of the Kendall County charges and, for now, is working under the presumption Swift will stand trial first in La Salle County on murder charges.