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One dead, two in jail after residential burglary

March 18 incident started in Mt. Morris, ended in Oregon, after crash on Liberty Hill

An Oregon man died in a one-vehicle crash early Monday morning after he fled from the scene of a residential burglary in Mt. Morris.

Joshua Denning, 34, was pronounced dead at KSB Hospital, Dixon, where he was taken by Oregon ambulance after he was ejected from the vehicle involved in the crash on Ill. 64 on the west side of Oregon.

Police said Denning was one of three people who burglarized a home in Mt. Morris.

Mt. Morris Police Chief Jason White said a caller to 911 reported at 12:57 a.m. that several intruders were inside a home in the 400 block of North McKendrie Avenue in Mt. Morris. The caller, who was not at the home, said the intruders were threatening the home’s occupant.

When police arrived three people ran out of the house. Police arrested one of them, Sarah Hensley, 32, of  Oregon, at the scene, and two men ran from the scene and drove off in an SUV parked nearby.

Oregon Police Chief Darin DeHaan said an Ogle County deputy responding to the call observed the SUV around 1 a.m. traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed on Ill. 64 between Mt. Morris and Oregon.

The deputy turned around to follow the vehicle and found it had crashed on Liberty Hill.

Denning, the driver, was found outside the vehicle which had rolled several times.

Oregon police were assisted with the crash investigation by the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department accident reconstructionist.

DeHaan said the vehicle’s other occupant, Jason Marks, 44, of Oregon, had fled the crash scene on foot.

At approximately 4:30 a.m., Oregon officers were called to the area of Fifth and Franklin Streets for an unconscious male, identified as Marks, lying in the yard. 

Marks was transported to a Rockford hospital for a medical evaluation by Oregon Ambulance. 

He was subsequently arrested by Mt. Morris Police Department and transported to the Ogle County Jail.

Hensley has been charged with residential burglary, a Class 1 felony, and Marks has been charged with residential burglary and home invasion, a Class X felony.

Both remain in the Ogle County Jail.

Based on additional information gathered from this incident, Oregon police also charged Marks with burglary from a motor vehicle, a Class 2 felony, from an incident that occurred on Jan. 8 in the 300 block of North Fourth Street in Oregon.

According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, both Denning and Marks were paroled from the Illinois Department of Corrections in 2017 after being convicted on multiple charges.

Hensley was on probation after pleading guilty in November to theft, trespass to a home and trespass to a vehicle.