BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A 16-year-old Bloomington boy accused in a deadly stabbing pleaded not guilty Friday to murder charges.
Luis Monroy appeared in McLean County Circuit Court on Friday, where he entered his plea. The judge also ordered that he will continue to be held in custody pending the outcome of his trial. That’s the new procedure since cash bail has been eliminated in Illinois.
Monroy, who is being held at the McLean County Juvenile Detention Center, is accused of stabbing to death Nicholas M. Zapata, 19, of Normal. Monroy will next appear in court on Oct. 18 where it’s likely that future dates, including when he could go to trial, will be set.
The boy’s attorney also asked that the case be tried as quickly as possible under the state’s Speedy Trial Act.
Zapata was found unresponsive shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday in 300 block of Kenmore Road which is east of the Southgate Estates Trailer Park. He was rushed to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later.19-year-old dead after Saturday night stabbing in Bloomington
Then, shortly before midnight Saturday, officers went to rural Heyworth where they found Monroy and took him into custody. So far, a motive for the stabbing has not been released.
Monroy faces a maximum of 40 years behind bars instead of a maximum of 60 years due to rulings by the Illinois Supreme Court in the past that capped what a juvenile can face. However, if a judge finds he’s beyond rehabilitation, he could receive up to 60 years if he’s convicted.
His age and the first-degree murder charge resulted in the case being transferred from the juvenile division of McLean County Circuit Court to the adult division. Normally, 16-year-olds are prosecuted as juveniles and the records are sealed to the public, but homicide cases can be an exception.