Bond reduction sought in Melissa Lamesch murder case

Firefighter Matthew Plote says he is not a flight risk; next court hearing is April 29

OREGON — A Malta man charged with the 2020 killings of a Mt. Morris woman and her unborn son is asking the court to reduce his $10 million bond to $500,000 because he was a career firefighter, has been a DeKalb County resident his entire life, and is not a flight risk.

Matthew T. Plote, 34, of Malta appeared in Ogle County Court on Friday with his attorney, John R. Kopp, of Geneva, who filed the bond reduction motion earlier in the week.

Plote is charged with killing Melissa Lamesch, 27, of Mt. Morris and her unborn son on Nov. 25, 2020, and then setting fire to her house to conceal their deaths.

Lamesch’s baby was due Nov. 27.

Plote faces four counts of first-degree murder, three of intentional homicide of an unborn child and one each of residential arson, aggravated domestic battery and concealment of a homicidal death.

In custody at the Ogle County Correctional Center since his March 8 arrest, Plote appeared in court wearing the standard orange jumpsuit and in handcuffs and leg irons.

Members of the Lamesch family and coworkers were present, with some visibly emotional when Plote entered the courtroom.

Judge John B. Roe set the hearing on the bond reduction motion for Friday, April 29 at 3 p.m.

The motion argues that his bond should be reduced because prior to the allegations, “the defendant was a career fireman who has resided in Malta, Sycamore, and DeKalb his entire life.”

“The defendant has strong ties to the community, including his parents and extended family and friends who live in DeKalb County,” the motion reads.

It also states that he has “no criminal history,” “no history of violence” and “has never been charged with a crime and has no failures to appear in court.”

The motion also argues he “does not pose a flight risk” and “remained in the area and was cooperative with law enforcement throughout their investigation and when he was arrested.”

“The defendant’s family can post up to $50,000 to secure his release and help to ensure his appearance at each court date,” the motion states.

Lamesch was found around 4:30 p.m. after firefighters responded to 206 S. Hannah Ave., where they encountered heavy smoke and blaring smoke detectors.

She was found on the kitchen floor and pronounced dead at the scene, despite life-saving measures.

Lamesch, a 2011 graduate of Oregon High School, was an EMT at Trace Ambulance Service in Tinley Park.

Prosecutors have yet to offer a possible motive in the case, but Ogle County State’s Attorney Mike Rock said at a March 9 news conference that Lamesch and Plote knew each other before the killing.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 9 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.