‘Soulless predator’ sentenced to 76 years for Will County murder-for-hire plot

Christian Shepherd

A man who a prosecutor called a “soulless predator” was sentenced to 76 years in prison for soliciting a jail inmate to kill a victim he’s charged with sexually assaulting, the victim’s mother, two detectives and yet another inmate whom he previously recruited for a murder-for-hire plot.

On Tuesday, Christian Shepherd, 44, of Ottawa was sentenced to 76 years in prison by Judge Dave Carlson, according to a statement from Will County State’s Attorney’s James Glasgow’s Office.

On Nov. 4, 2022, a jury found the former bus driver guilty of solicitation of murder for hire and solicitation of murder. Shepherd first was charged in the case Oct. 12, 2010, court records show.

In a statement, Glasgow called Shepherd a “soulless predator who was willing to take the lives of five human beings in a heinous attempt to avoid accountability for his own abhorrent crimes.”

Prosecutors said that Shepherd recruited an inmate to kill a child he allegedly sexually assaulted, the child’s mother, two Crest Hill police detectives and another inmate. However, the inmate revealed Shepherd’s plan to police and agreed to wear a wire for them so they could catch Shepherd making incriminating statements about his murderous scheme, prosecutors said.

In retaliation, Shepherd sought out a second inmate to kill the other inmate, along with the four people he wanted dead to begin with, prosecutors said. The second inmate also told Shepherd’s plan to police.

Glasgow said the two inmates who had come forward to police were the “divine intervention that derailed Shepherd’s plans for the slaughter of five people.”

“[Shepherd’s] potential victims now live with a lost sense of safety and security from knowing they were targets in a murder plot,” Glasgow said. “Shepherd is an insidious miscreant who deserves every single day he will be spending in a cold, dark prison cell.”

Shepherd will be given more than 12 years in credit for time served in the Will County jail since April 30, 2010. He also will serve 85% of the 76-year prison sentence.