Second stabbing suspect also waives trial, set to enter guilty plea next week

Heaton Brothers guilty plea

Attorney Dennis Woodworth, left, talks with Heaton Brothers during a status hearing Tuesday morning in Adams County Circuit Court. | David Adam

QUINCY — The second of two men charged in connection to a September 2023 stabbing in the parking lot at Blessing Hospital waived his right to a jury trial on Tuesday morning and is set to accept a plea next week.

Heaton Brothers, 20, of 1842 Maple, appeared in Adams County Circuit Court with attorney Dennis Woodworth for a status hearing before Judge Tad Brenner. 

Brothers was charged with attempted murder, armed violence and aggravated battery after a Sept. 15 stabbing. Brenner moved the case to the April jury docket during a January hearing, but on Tuesday, Woodworth and Brothers asked for the case to be removed from the April docket.

Assistant state’s attorney Josh Jones told Brenner that Brothers has agreed to plead guilty to attempted armed violence, and an amended motion would be filed. Jones said Brothers also has agreed to a cap of nine years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on the charge, and he must serve 50 percent of his sentence. 

In exchange for the plea, the charges of attempted murder and armed violence — both Class X felonies — and aggravated battery would be dismissed. Had a jury found Brothers guilty of either Class X felony charge, he could have been sentenced for up to 30 years in prison. He faced between two and five years in prison on the aggravated battery charge.

Brothers is scheduled to enter his plea on Monday.

Dylan Test, 20, of 1530 Monroe faced the same charges as Brothers. He appeared last week in Adams County Circuit Court with attorney Matthew Radefeld before Brenner. He also waived his right to a jury trial and is scheduled to enter his plea on April 29.

Jones told Muddy River News that Test will plead guilty to one count of attempted murder, and he has agreed to a cap of 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. In exchange for the plea, charges of armed violence and aggravated battery will be dropped.

Both men originally were charged after stabbing Tanner Bowen in the chest with a knife.  

The Quincy Police Department reported officers found a male stabbing victim in the parking lot at Blessing Hospital, 1005 Broadway, around 11:15 p.m. Sept. 15. Surveillance video from Blessing Hospital allegedly shows Test and Brothers pinning Bowen between two cars and attacking the man, with Test stabbing him in the chest.

Brothers was charged under an “accountability theory.” The law of accountability in Illinois states a person is legally responsible for another person’s illegal conduct if “either before or during the commission of an offense, and with the intent to promote or facilitate that commission, he or she solicits, aids, abets, agrees or attempts to aid that other person in the planning or commission of the offense.”

Both men remain lodged in the Adams County Jail.

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