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Crime & Courts

DeKalb man pleads not guilty in shooting of Rochelle man

Adam D. Koertner, 18, of the 900 block of Greenbrier Road, faces life in prison after being charged with first-degree murder Friday.
Adam D. Koertner, 18, of the 900 block of Greenbrier Road, faces life in prison after being charged with first-degree murder Friday.

SYCAMORE – A DeKalb man charged last month with first-degree murder has pleaded not guilty.

Adam D. Koertner, 18, of the 900 block of Greenbrier Road, was charged in the shooting death of Jacob Zamora, 18, of Rochelle on Jan. 23, a shooting prosecutors say stemmed from a disagreement about marijuana in 2018 when both men were juveniles. Koertner was reportedly stabbed in that incident.

On Tuesday, Koertner was in court via closed-circuit television for his arraignment. He was indicted for first-degree murder and for unlawful possession of a firearm by a DeKalb County Grand Jury on Feb. 11. First-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 60 years, but because a firearm was used a sentence could be extended by 25 years, up to natural life, Judge Robbin Stuckert told Koertner.

Koertner was represented by Sycamore attorney and former DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack.

Koertner has been denied bail as his case proceeds.

DeKalb police responded to a report of shots fired in the 800 block of Edgebrook Drive about 11:15 p.m. Jan. 23. The department, along with Northern Illinois University police, issued a safety alert about midnight asking residents to avoid the area. Upon arrival, officers found a man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in a hallway of 835 Edgebrook Drive.

Koertner was taken into custody without incident by DeKalb police about 3:40 p.m. Jan. 24 in the 900 block of Greenbrier Road.

Video surveillance obtained by DeKalb police from the building and surrounding areas shows Koertner arriving in a car shortly before the shooting, entering the building, exiting, and then entering a second time, prosecutors said in court on Feb. 3.

Klein said the employees told police Koertner made a call using the FaceTime mobile app during which he said he shot the person who stabbed him. Neither men were residents of the Ridgebrook Apartment complex.

This story has been edited to clarify the charges Koertner faces.

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