One of three men who was charged in the 2020 murder of a homeless man in Crystal Lake was sentenced to six years in prison after prosecutors negotiated a plea deal on Thursday.
William P. Linke, 52, was charged with first-degree murder, robbery, aggravated battery, concealment of a homicidal death and mob action in March 2020.
On Thursday, prosecutors negotiated a plea deal with Linke and dismissed the charges of first-degree murder, robbery and mob action in exchange for a guilty plea on the charges of aggravated battery and concealment of a homicidal death, both Class 3 felonies.
McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt sentenced Linke to six years in prison, with one year of mandatory supervised release, court documents show.
Three years are for aggravated battery and the other three years are for concealment of a homicidal death.
Linke will receive credit for spending 759 days in custody at the McHenry County Jail, court documents show.
The rest of Linke’s sentence will be served at 50%.
The incident stems from when the Crystal Lake Police Department responded around 2:59 p.m. March 17, 2020, to the 6100 block of Northwest Highway after receiving an open line 911 call.
Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Derek Hyrkas said at the time that officers located Linke, Michael M. Miller, 35, and Devin J. Petersen, 25, at the location, one of which was covered in blood.
Further investigation led the officers to a secluded wooded inlet on the west side of Three Oaks Recreation Area where they discovered deceased Robert L. Krikie Jr., 51, floating in the water, Hyrkas said.
A criminal complaint filed in McHenry County Circuit Court alleges that the victim was struck, kicked, choked and punched. The victim ultimately died after being struck in the head with a rock.
The 51-year-old victim also had his wallet stolen from him during the attack.
The three men are accused of dumping the man’s body into the water following the attack.
According to Crystal Lake police, the three men and the victim were all homeless and acquaintances.
The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office reached a blind plea deal agreement with Miller in May 2021, court records show.
Miller pleaded guilty to armed robbery and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and prosecutors dismissed the rest of his charges, including first-degree murder.
In July 2021, Wilbrandt sentenced Miller to 15 years in prison, court documents show.
Petersen remains held at the McHenry County Jail awaiting trial. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 28.