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Man pleads guilty to 2017 Rockford murder

A witness to the crime told police that Johnston and Harry Lawrence were arguing when Lawrence snapped.
LAWRENCE, HARRY OLIN
LAWRENCE, HARRY OLIN(Winnebago County Inmate List)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:02 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A 50-year-old man plead guilty to first degree murder from June 20, 2017 in Rockford.

On June 20, 2017, officers from the Rockford Police Department received a call reporting there was a dead body near S. Main St. Officers were sent to 1120 S. Main and discovered the body of Jerry Johnston on the second floor, according to the Winnebago Co. State’s Attorney’s Office.

A witness to the crime told police that Johnston and Harry Lawrence were arguing when Lawrence snapped, and punched Johnston numerous times in the face, according to the Winnebago Co. State’s Attorney’s Office.

The witness said that Johnston produced a knife and cut Lawrence on his bicep. The witness told police that Lawrence started kicking Johnston, who was lying on the ground, on the head and the side. The witness indicated that Johnston eventually stopped moving and Lawrence left, according to the Winnebago Co. State’s Attorney’s Office.

The case is set for status on sentencing on Aug. 6 at 9 a.m. in Courtroom A of the Winnebago County Justice Center.

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