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Crime & Courts

'I wish I'd been on my medication'

Baby murderer gets 35 years in prison

Jeffrey L. Price
Jeffrey L. Price

"I'm sorry for everything I've done and wish I could take it back. I wish I'd been on my medication and taking treatment."

Those were the words Thursday afternoon in court of murderer Jeffrey L. Price, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for beating to death a baby in June in Marseilles. With credit for 10 months he has spent in jail since his arrest, Price will have to serve a little more than 34 years.

Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr. issued sentence. Price, 31, pleaded guilty Feb. 23.

Price inflicted five blows to the infant's head and eight to the torso, with the fatal blow fracturing the back of the child's skull. The attack took place in an apartment Price shared with the baby's mother, who was not present.

According to Prosecutor Greg Sticka, the mother was in relationships with Price and another man, with Price believing the other man was the baby's father. Price murdered the child, because of his fury over paternity, Sticka said.

Sticka noted Price has a history of "anger issues." However, Price only intermittently participated in treatment programs, and when he did, he often blamed his problems on others. Ryan pointed out Price was diagnosed as suffering from bi-polar disorder.

Sticka also went over Price's criminal record, which included aggravated battery, burglary, theft and trespass as a juvenile. Price's adult record included reckless driving, thefts, leaving the scene of an accident, vandalism, drug possession, driving while revoked, aggravated assault, resisting police, battery and violation of a protection order.

These crimes occurred outside La Salle County, in counties such as Will and Livingston. Price's only record in La Salle County is for the murder.

Price's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Doug Kramarsic, said Price has had a rough life, was kicked out of his home at age 18 and has usually been homeless since, living in parks and woods. At an earlier court hearing, Kramarsic noted Price has difficulty reading. Price was jobless at the time of his arrest.

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