Jury: Man guilty of killing Machesney Park teen

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) – A jury finds the man accused of murdering a Machesney Park teen guilty.

Michael Mernack, 37, killed Rebecaa Finkenhofer, 16, at her Minns home on Dec. 28, 2016.

Authorities say Finkenhofer was shot in the chest, but her cause of death was multiple stab wounds. Her grandmother was also shot and injured.

A Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy shot Mernack that night. When he was released from the hospital, he faced a 62-count bill of indictment.

The jury reached the verdict after three days of hearing witness testimony and viewing evidence from both the defense and prosecution. He was found guilty on all charges including first-degree murder, and committing a brutal and heinous crime, which carries a heavier sentence.

Finkenhofer’s mother, Megan Cabay testified on Wednesday. She started dating Mernack about 6 months before the murder.

Cabay spoke about a previous incident of domestic violence between her and Mernack that happened in Nov. 22, 2016. On that day, Cabay said Mernack picked her up at work and in the car he started yelling at her, swearing at her and calling her names using vulgar language. That’s when Cabay says the argument escalated and Mernack hit her on her head into the car window.

Mernack will be sentenced on October 26.

Breane Lyga

Breane Lyga

Content Manager

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