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Murder case in the hands of a La Salle County jury

Posted by wlpo on August 5, 2016

The fate of a 23-year old Varna man is now in the hands of 6 men and 6 women.

Closing arguments were heard Friday morning for Bradley French, the man accused of murdering 38-year old Joshua Scaman of Oglesby on Father’s Day of last year with a bow and arrow. The state claimed French was a “hunter” who “boxed in his prey” before firing a hunting arrow at Scaman, in an attempt to play the hero for his friend, whose mother was engaged to Scaman.

French’s lawyer described his client as a “pudgy kid who may have been picked on growing up,” not as a cold-blooded murder. He claimed the events leading up to the killing in the Illinois Valley Community College parking lot were the result of “a whole lotta stupid by a whole lotta people being stupid.” During his statement, which took nearly an hour and a half, he tried to explain inconsistencies in French’s story by calling them “errors of judgment by young, dumb people.”

The jury began deliberations around noon. Judge H. Chris Ryan explained he could be found not guilty, but if he is found guilty it could be of either first- or second-degree murder. If convicted of first-degree murder French faces up to 60 years in prison.

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