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Second man charged in 2018 Princeville murders pleads guilty, faces 60-year sentence

PEORIA (HOI) — The second man charged in connection of the 2018 murders of a Princeville couple had his plea deal accepted by the court Monday, and now faces 60 years in prison.

Matthew Roberts, of Princeville, pleaded guilty, but mentally ill, to one count of first degree murder in connection to the deaths of Susan Brill de Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron. Both the victims worked at Bradley University.

Roberts was originally charged with first degree murder, obstruction of justice and concealment of a homicidal death.

Last week, Jose Ramirez, the couples adopted son, was found guilty in a bench trial on two charges of first degree murder in the slayings.

Prosecutors argued Roberts heard the beating and stabbing, but did not assist Ramirez in the act. However, the states attorneys said he helped to clean the blood off the wall and dispose of the bodies.

Roberts’ attorneys said Roberts suffered alleged physical abuse from his father, and at the time of the murders, Roberts was broken in body and soul.

Roberts requested to enter the plea deal at his last court appearance in October.

Drew Veskauf

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