Pender pleads not guilty to new indictments

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By BILL DWYER

James F. Pender, Jr., the man accused of the bludgeoning murder of his estranged wife, Therese in River Forest on March 16, was in court with his public defender Monday morning.

Accompanied by two bailiffs and two Cook County Jail guards, Pender appeared before Judge Daniel Weber for arraignment on three superceding grand jury indictments on first degree murder, aggravated stalking and robbery. His attorney, Preston Jones, entered pleas of not guilty, and his case was transferred to the court room of Judge Michael Tucker. Tucker then scheduled a status hearing on the discovery process for June 20.

In other developments, Oak Park police arrested a fourth suspect last Wednesday, April 29 in the alleged criminal sexual assault of a 12 year old Oak Park girl. Officers who had been looking for Floyd Q. Robinson, 17, to question him, located him in the 200 block of North Menard last Wednesday. Robinson, of 1518 N. Harlem, River Forest, reportedly took off running, but was caught after a brief foot chase. Following a line up, he was positively identified as one of the participants in the assault, and was charged and held for a bond hearing, at which he was ordered held without bail by a judge.

The four men, aged 17 to 21, are alleged to have engaged in sex acts with a 12 year Oak Park girl the afternoon and evening of Thursday, April 21 at an apartment in 100 Forest Place and the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. Also charged with one count each of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault and Criminal Sexual Abuse are Oak Park residents Daniel R. Sproat, 20, Michael K. Valentine, 19, and Robert L. Stevenson, 17.

The four were scheduled to appear before a judge last Friday at the Maybrook courthouse in Maywood. However, a fire alarm went off just before court call Friday morning, at 9 a.m. delaying the hearing.

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