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Sarah Kolb Argues New Legal Precedents Should Prompt Resentencing

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Illinois Dept. of Corrections

Three justices in Illinois will decide if her 53-year sentence for murder should be reconsidered.

On Wednesday (1/11/2023), a panel of the Third District Appellate Court in Ottawa heard arguments about her request for resentencing. The murder 18 years ago made headlines for months in the Quad Cities.

Attorneys discussed whether, during sentencing, the judge took her age and capacity to be rehabilitated into account.

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Adrianne Reynolds

In January 2005, 16-year-old Adrianne Reynolds of East Moline was beaten and strangled in a car parked at a Moline fast food restaurant. Days later, police found her body which had been burned, dismembered, and buried. The next year, a jury convicted 17-year-old Sarah Kolb of Milan on two counts of first degree murder and concealing a homicide.

On Wednesay during oral arguments, her lawyer, Robert Markfield, said Kolb should get a chance at a reduced sentence because of recent Illinois and US supreme court rulings. They require courts to consider the defendant's age and ability to be rehabilitated before sending juveniles to prison for life, or more than 50 years.

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Judge Brennan campaign
Illinois Third District Appellate Court Justice Liam Brennan

Justice Liam Brennan interrupted Markfield to ask a question and discuss a statement from 14th Circuit Judge James Teros who presided over her sentencing. Brennan quoted Teros as saying he saw Kolb as cold and callous without the propensity to change, or "incorrigibility." Markfield argued that Judge Teros did not specifically consider her "youth and its particular rehabilitative qualities."

But the attorney for the state, Justin Nicolosi, argued that Judge Teros did consider Kolb's age, the possibility of rehabilitation, and other testimony and information presented during sentencing. Nicolosi also said during an earlier appeal, the Third District justices agreed and affirmed her conviction and 53-year sentence.

He reiterated Justice Brennan's remarks about Judge Teros' statement, and said the judge also considered the horrific nature of the evidence in the case. Nicolosi reminded the three appellate justices that Kolb killed Reynolds for "not liking the way she lived her life," burned the body, then found someone to help dismember the body, an "unspeakable crime."

Kolb is now 34 years old and is being held at the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln.

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