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State

Lawyer: Dixon High shooter's mom owned gun legally

Julie Milby, mother of Dixon High school shooter Matt Milby, is seen in the courtroom Friday morning at her son's hearing at the Lee County Courthouse in Dixon.
Julie Milby, mother of Dixon High school shooter Matt Milby, is seen in the courtroom Friday morning at her son's hearing at the Lee County Courthouse in Dixon.

DIXON – The mother of 19-year-old Dixon school shooter Matthew Alan Milby Jr. legally possessed the 9 mm rifle her son is accused of using, the family’s attorney said this morning.

Published and broadcast reports that Julie Milby, 49, has a felony criminal conviction in Osceola County, Florida, from the 1990s, and so should not have been eligible to own a gun, did not take into account that her identity was stolen while she was living there, said Thomas D. Murray of Dixon, who was hired to represent Milby Jr.

He has been Julie Milby’s attorney more than 20 years, and in fact helped her find an attorney in Florida when her identity was stolen, Murray said.

Although he did not know the details of any charges that actually may have been filed against her, or any still on record in Florida in her name, she has a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card in Illinois, Murray told Sauk Valley Media after a court hearing.

She has no felony convictions in Illinois, he said.

At the hearing, Murray withdrew his request for a substitution of Judge Jacquelyn Ackert. She will preside over Milby Jr.’s preliminary hearing, set for at 9 a.m. June 7.

Lee County State’s Attorney Matt Klahn also was granted a request for an order prohibiting members of the Dixon School District 170, Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Dixon Police Department from releasing any reports or evidence in the case, given that the investigation is not over.

Milby Jr., who appeared via video, is in the Lee County Jail on $2 million bond.

The Dixon High School senior was shot and wounded May 16 in a pursuit after firing into the high school gym during graduation practice.

Milby Jr. took a 9 mm semi-automatic rifle to graduation practice in the Lancaster Gym shortly after
8 a.m. and fired at gym teacher Andrew McKay, then took off running when confronted and pursued by school resource officer Mark Dallas.

He fired at Dallas outside the gym; the Dixon police officer returned fire, hitting Milby Jr. in the upper shoulder. No one else was injured.

Milby Jr. is charged with three felonies involving aggravated discharge of a firearm, the first two for firing at Dallas and McKay, and the third for firing a gun in a school building.

The first two are punishable by a mandatory 10 to 46 years in prison, the third by six to 30 years. Each charge comes with a mandatory three years’ supervised release. More charges are possible.

Julie Milby told reporters after the shooting, and before being interviewed by lead investigators with the Illinois State Police, that she did not know where her son got the gun, and that they did not have guns in their home. She later told investigators she bought the gun in 2012.

Matt Milby Sr., 47, is a convicted felon and is not allowed to own guns.

Julie Milby has said her son had been bullied and “ostracized” by his peers after getting caught smoking marijuana while a member of the football team.

Milby Jr. was charged May 15, 2017, and found guilty April 26 in Lee County Court of possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, and fined $120.

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