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Gillespie Man committed to IDHS for role in 2019 death of his mother

Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jordan Garrison announced July 27 that Clinton Sanders (4/13/1984) was ordered into the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for a period not to exceed 60 years by the Honorable Joshua A. Meyer.

On May 24, 2023, a bench trial was held in front of the Honorable Joshua A. Meyer on one count of first degree murder. At trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant had murdered his mother, Sandra Sanders. it was shown that on Dec. 15, 2019, a welfare check was conducted on the residence of Ms. Sanders. She was found outside of the residence, barely responsive under a deck behind the house. She was transported to Carlinville Area Hospital.

While receiving medical treatment, she identified her son, Clinton Sanders as the individual who had harmed her. A forensic pathologist report determined Ms. Sanders died of blunt force trauma.

Gillespie Police Chief Jared DePoppe, testified that he had made contact with Mr. Sanders on Dec. 16, 2019, where Mr. Sanders repeatedly claimed he was under spiritual attack and was making little sense. Chief DePoppe conducted a video tapped interview which was admitted into evidence. In the video, Mr. Sanders was initially alone in the room carrying on conversations as if others were there. During the interview, Mr. Sanders stated a demonic force took over his body during the incident. Multiple times during the interview, Mr. Sanders directed invisible people to talk to Chief DePoppe.

An expert opinion was admitted at trial containing evaluations of Clinton Sanders and a review of psychological record showing Sanders was experiencing acute psychosis onset by multiple mental health disorders including schizoaffective disorder which preexisted this incident. Based on the expert opinion Sanders was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

A commitment hearing was held on July 26, where the State proved that Sanders’s mental illness posed the threat of Sanders causing serious physical harm upon himself or others. Judge Meyer ordered Sanders into the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for a period not to exceed 60 years from the date of the homicide which set his maximum out date at Dec. 16, 2079.

“I would like to thank all the Gillespie Police officers which assisted in this investigation as well as the Macoupin County State Attorney’s office for their work in prosecuting this case,” said Chief DePoppe. “I pray the Sanders family may find some measure of peace and healing moving forward.”