PEORIA -- The trial of a South Peoria man accused of killing two people at an off-campus party near Bradley University last spring is now set for late March.
Assistant State's Attorney Dave Gast and Chief Peoria County Public Defender Nate Bach both agreed to push Jermontay Brock's trial from Jan. 22 to March 25. The main reason is that DNA results from the state police crime lab aren't back yet. But even then, it is possible that Brock's trial could be delayed again. He is facing a lengthy prison term if convicted of both murders, with a relatively short amount of time for his attorney to prepare. It's not uncommon for a murder case in Peoria County to take more than a year to go to trial.
Brock, 17, of 2209 W. Millman St. was indicted in April on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery in connection with the April 8, 2018, deaths of Anthony Polnitz, 22, and Nasjay Murry, 18, the latter a pre-med student at Bradley.
They were at a party in the 1800 block of West Bradley Avenue when they were killed early that morning. Another woman was shot in the hand, which is the basis of the aggravated battery charge. Brock is also facing a relatively minor unlawful possession of a firearm charge that declares he had a prior juvenile conviction for aggravated battery.
The murder charges allege Brock used a handgun to shoot and kill Polnitz and Murry, meaning he would face at least 45 years behind bars for each death if convicted. The aggravated battery charge carries a six-to-30-year prison range. It's possible that all three sentences could be consecutive if he is convicted.
While Brock's age means he would normally appear in juvenile court, first-degree murder is an exception. He was never charged as a juvenile, and his case went right to the adult felony division of Peoria County Circuit Court. He, however, does remain housed at the county's Juvenile Detention Center.