The court case in a 2019 murder in southern Macoupin County came to a close on Wednesday.
39-year old Clinton Sanders, formerly of Gillespie, was ordered into the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for a period not to exceed 60 years by Macoupin County Judge Joshua Meyer for the 2019 killing of his mother, 79-year old Sandra Sanders.
According to a press release from Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jordan Garrison, on May 24th a bench trial was held on a single count of first degree murder. During the course of the trial through testimony provided by Gillespie Police Chief Jared DePoppe, the state was able to prove on December 15, 2019 Mrs. Sanders had received blunt force trauma injuries to her head and neck while at her residence in the 400 block of East Easton Street in Gillespie. DePoppe testified he had found Mrs. Sanders alive under a deck and had identified Clinton Sanders as her attacker. Mrs. Sanders was later transported by Gillespie-Benld Area Ambulance Service to Carlinville Area Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. It was the first recorded homicide in Gillespie since 2011.
DePoppe also testified that when Clinton Sanders was taken into custody on December 16, 2019, he repeatedly claimed he was under a spiritual attack and was making little sense. DePoppe conducted a videotaped interview with Sanders which was admitted into evidence. The video depicted Sanders alone in the room carrying on conversations as if others were there and during the interview, directed other invisible entities to answer questions for him. Sanders repeated that a demonic force had taken over his body in the incident that took his mother’s life. An expert opinion was entered into the case saying that Sanders was experiencing acute psychosis due to the onset of multiple mental health disorders, including schizoaffective disorder which preexisted the murder.
Sanders was ultimately found not guilty by reason of insanity on May 25th.
On Wednesday, a commitment hearing was held where the state proved that Sanders was a threat to both himself and others, according to the press release. Judge Meyer ordered Sanders to serve a term not to exceed 60 years in the custody of IDHS, retroactive to the date of the homicide. Sanders date of release would be no earlier than December 16, 2079.