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La Salle man avoids prison after a fight that killed his stepfather

Posted by wlpo on August 1, 2015

A La Salle man who was once looking at involuntary manslaughter and home invasion charges has accepted a plea deal where he avoids prison time.

Twenty-one-year-old Darnell Williams pled guilty Thursday to the misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct. He was given two years conditional discharge and six months in jail which he’s already served.

Williams was arrested Valentine’s Day weekend initially for home invasion and involuntary manslaughter after a fight that killed his stepfather, 47-year-old Mark Jonas. During the scuffle, Williams used a rock, plastic shovel, and gas can.

Jonas went unresponsive during the scuffle and was pronounced dead at Illinois Valley Community Hospital. The doctor who performed an autopsy says he died from a heart attack caused in part by the altercation.

Because of the medical issue with Jonas, La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne backed off the involuntary manslaughter charge. He also dropped the home invasion charge early in the investigation since it appeared the fight happened just outside the house.

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