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No one to be charged with death of Oregon teen after drinking party

Jonathan Williams died after being struck at an underage drinking party in Oregon in August.
Jonathan Williams died after being struck at an underage drinking party in Oregon in August.

Seven adults and two juveniles have been arrested in connection with an underage drinking party at which an Oregon teenager was struck and later died.

Murder charges will not be levied against anyone for the death of Jonathan Williams, 18, who would have turned 19 on Nov. 27—the day the charges were announced by Ogle County State’s Attorney Mike Rock.

In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, Rock said warrants had been issued for the following individuals: Justin Coltrain, 33, Mt. Morris, hate crime and battery; Matthew Steder, 22, Mt. Morris, hate crime (3 counts), aggravated battery, and battery (2 counts); Brian Galor, 21, Rockford: delivery of alcohol to a mnor; Maria Coleman, 19, Oregon: reckless conduct; Cody Munroe, 18: reckless conduct; Cameron Clark, 21: reckless conduct; and Kylie Heck, 19, Oregon: reckless conduct.

He said two juveniles will also be brought into juvenile court, but declined to release their ages, sex, or the towns they live in. He also said the hate crime charges are a Class 4 felony while aggravated battery is a Class 3 felony.

The charges stem from an underage drinking party held at at 804 Monroe St., Oregon, on Aug. 10.

Rock said a fight ensued at the residence and spilled out into the neighborhood.

"Witnesses indicate Mr. Williams chased another individual who struck Mr. Williams in self defense resulting in Mr. Williams striking his head. Mr. Williams was carried back into the residence where he remained for hours before receiving medical attention," Rock said in the press release.

"The Ogle County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Oregon Police Department have worked together and in consultation with the family of Williams in determining the charges supported by the investigation," read the press release.

"The death of a man so young is a tragedy", Rock said. "Jonathan’s death was preventable and the direct result of the actions of individuals at the party who started the fight, and other individuals who failed to get Mr. Williams medical attention that likely would have saved his life."

Coltrain and Steder are charged with hate crimes because they made racial slurs during the incident, Rock said. Such charges are rare in Ogle County, he said.

Bond was set at $100,000 for Coltrain, who also was charged with battery. He was in the Ogle County Jail on Wednesday afternoon, but was transferred to the Whiteside County Jail later in the day.

Oregon police were called about 3:15 a.m. on Aug. 10 by a neighbor who reported a disturbance outside the home on Monroe Street.

At that time, police arrested five teens for underage drinking outside the home and another a block away.

Several more party-goers scattered when police arrived, Oregon Police Chief Darin DeHaan said. Mt. Morris police and Ogle County deputies assisted at the scene.

The fight had occurred outside the house before police arrived in the early morning hours, DeHaan said.

The police who responded to the call did not see Williams, and none of the people there at the time mentioned that he had been injured, he said.

Williams was found unconscious and unresponsive inside the home at 8:19 a.m., after a second 911 call from a "father figure" of one of the teens who had spent the night at the home after the party, DeHaan said.

Williams would have been a senior at Oregon High School this year.

A Winnebago County Coroner's Jury ruled Nov. 8 Williams' death as a homicide.

Williams died Aug. 11 at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, Rockford.

Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia said during an interview Nov. 8 that each coroner's office has different rules for inquests. In Winnebago County, she said, they're held in every unnatural death case.

Inquests consist of a panel of six jurors who consider five verdicts: accidental, suicide, homicide, undetermined, and unnatural causes.

Panel members hear information about the victim's death, and they decide the "manner of death."

The cause of Williams' death had already been ruled to be "blunt trauma of the head due to a fall as a result of a physical altercation."

The official manner of Williams' death, the jury decided Friday, is "homicide (involuntary manslaughter)."

"In this particular case, they felt that even though there was a confrontation with a lot of people, where there were a lot of people fighting, someone punched him in the face, which caused him to fall to the ground, which caused a head injury, which caused his death," Fiduccia said.

Christi Warren, Sauk Valley Media, contributed to this story,

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