Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Charges announced in Rockford homicide

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – A Rockford teen has been charged with multiple counts of murder in the shooting death of a single mother of three, authorities announced at a news conference Friday.

Matthew Cavender, 18, is jailed on 12 counts of first-degree murder, three counts of mob action, aggravated discharged of a firearm and possessing a handgun without a FOID in the death of 30-year-old Desiree Weir, also known as Desiree Stephens. Weir was killed May 16 in the 200 block of Royal Avenue. She’d been shot in head.

While the nature of their relationship is unclear, police say Weir and Cavender knew each other.

First-degree murder is a Class M Felony punishable by 20 to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by three years of Mandatory Supervised Release.

Aggravated discharge of a firearm is a Class X felony with a sentencing range of six to 30 years.

Cavender faces a total of five to 14 years on the alleged FOID violation and mob action charge. He is being held on a $1 million bond and appeared in court June 29. His next hearing is July 19 in Courtroom 478 in front of Judge Rosemary Collins.

Cavender is represented by Assistant Public Defender Rahnesha Williams. R.

This story has been updated.

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