Reporting Mike Krauser
CHICAGO (WBBM) – People across the country are staging vigils to remember a murdered Batavia girl and to express outrage that her killer will go free on Tuesday.
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Many didn’t know the victim. But they feel moved by her story.
Justin Boulay was sentenced to 24 years for murdering his ex-girlfriend Andrea Will.
Prosecutors said it was in a jealous rage at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. that he strangled her with a phone cord.
It was February of 1998.
Will was 18 years old, a freshman who had broken up with Boulay and was expanding her circle of friends.
Boulay was 20, an EIU junior from St. Charles. He was unhappy, said prosecutors, with Will’s newfound freedom.
So he got her to come to his apartment, prosecutors say, and strangled her with a phone cord.
He then called his parents and admitted to the crime.
He pleaded temporary insanity, but was convicted of first-degree murder.
Sally Zikas, a close friend of Will’s, says “I can remember cleary Andrea’s mother saying he had gotten away with murder.”
That’s because the sentencing guidelines called for 20 to 60 years.
And Boulay was sentenced to 24 years. He’d be on the streets in half that time.
This was before truth-in-sentencing became law.
Boulay’s 24-year sentence will be finished Tuesday, after serving 12 years.
On Tuesday, candlelight vigils will be held in Batavia and at the University of Hawaii.
Michelle Voight-Felde was Andrea Will’s roommate. She says “it was never fair.”
She says that until recently, she didn’t know Boulay had married in prison and planned to move to Hawaii to be with his wife, an old high school friend and now a teacher at a medical school.
“It was just a bombshell that was just dropped in our laps.”
Her friends have tried to keep the memory of Andrea Will from fading through a page on Facebook, “Voices For Andrea Faye Will”.
And the story has touched such a nerve, that members of the page, including many who didn’t know Will, are planning to hold vigils across the country Tuesday when Justin Boulay is released from the Danville Correctional Center.