Woman sentenced to 15 years in death of 63-year-old man

Crystal Gale Caldwell
Crystal Gale Caldwell

Staff Report

A woman accused of killing a 63-year-old Rockford man last year will spend the next 15 years in prison, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato announced.

Crystal Gale Caldwell, 32, pleaded guilty Monday, Nov. 3, to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in front of Judge John Lowry. The charge stems from the homicide of James Schoenherr, who was found tied up in his bathtub, dead, last July 17. Police were called to Schoenerr’s home at 519 Sawyer Road after neighbors hadn’t seen him outside. An autopsy determined he had been in an altercation.

Detectives traced Schoenherr’s debit card information to Caldwell. Authorities believe Caldwell and another suspect planned to rob and kill Schoenherr. Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder is a Class 1 felony with a sentencing range of probation to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Caldwell must also serve two years of Mandatory Supervised Release (parole).

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