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Crime & Courts

Sandwich man’s attempted murder trial is postponed

SYCAMORE – The attempted murder trial of a Sandwich man accused of shooting a Plano man in the eye has been pushed back indefinitely.

Carl R. Russell, 44, of the 1100 block of Lillian Lane, is charged with four counts of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm in connection with the July 2 shooting that left Eric Peterson, a then 23-year-old from Plano, most likely paralyzed for life. If convicted of the most serious charge, attempted first-degree murder, Russell could face life in prison.

A trial date was set in January for March 19, but Russell’s lawyer filed a motion asking that it be pushed back because he needs more time to go over discovery he’s received from the prosecution. Chief Judge Robbin Stuckert granted the motion Thursday and set a status hearing for 9 a.m. April 5.

Peterson’s sister, Abbey Blum, has said Peterson was defending his girlfriend at a housewarming party in the 1100 block of Lillian Lane when, about 12:30 a.m. July 2, Peterson was shot in the driveway.

Russell’s been in jail since then, on a $750,000 bond.

Peterson’s girlfriend, Lorena Melendez, has said he is paralyzed on the left side of his body, and that in December, he moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, where he lives with his stepparents. Peterson remained hospitalized for several months before starting rehab in November, Melendez said.

Peterson’s family and friends started a GoFundMe page and have raised about $1,000, thanks to donations from 14 people. The page’s goal is $50,000.

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