PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Peoria man, accused of killing a Dunlap woman earlier this year, will stand trial later this year, a judge ruled.

Walter Artis, 27, of Peoria, was to stand trial next month in Peoria County Circuit Court but the case was continued until Dec. 18 in Chief Judge Katherine Gorman’s courtroom.

The reason for the delay was to allow his defense attorney more time to prepare his defense as well to have to have his mental health evaluated.

He faces charges of first-degree murder, home invasion and aggravated battery in connection with the April 14 death of 22-year-old Alexis Boland.

Deputies with the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office were called to the Brighton Woods apartments in Dunlap at approximately 9:19 a.m. April 14 where they found Boland who had been shot.

Prosecutors have alleged Artis forced his way into Boland’s Dunlap apartment, pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots at Boland, striking her in the head and torso. Artis then fled in his vehicle only to be caught later that day near a gas station in Morton.

A gun was found in his possession, according to the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office, which also said Boland and Artis had children together.

If convicted, he faces at least 45 years and possibly up to life in prison.