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Man pleads guilty to 2017 murder in Rockford

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Harry Lawrence

ROCKFORD (WREX) — A man has pleaded guilty for his role in a murder that happened in 2017 in Rockford.

Authorities say the Rockford Police Department received a call reporting a dead body near the 1120 block of S. Main St. on June 20, 2017.

When officers arrived, they found the body of Jerry Johnston on the 2nd floor of the building.

Witnesses told officers that Johnston was arguing with a man when the man punched Johnston multiple times in the face and stabbed him in the arm with a knife.

Witnesses say the man then kicked Johnston in the head multiple times until Johnston stopped moving.

The man, later identified as Harry Lawrence, plead guilty to first degree murder charges on June 7, 2021.

First Degree Murder is a Class M Felony with a sentencing range of 20-60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by 3 years of Mandatory Supervised Release. The sentence would be served at 100%.

Lawrence is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

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Andrew Carrigan

Andy Carrigan is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team as a photographer in 2016 after graduating from Northern Illinois University.

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