WHEATON, Ill. (STMW) – An inmate was found guilty Tuesday of trying to hire a “hitman” to kill the judge and prosecutor who put him behind bars in 2010.
A jury found Gordon Vanderark, 56, formerly of Wheaton, guilty of soliciting the murder of two DuPage County officials, according to a release from the DuPage County Sheriff’s office. The jury deliberated for about three hours following the five-day trial.
Vanderark was incarcerated at the Centralia Correctional Center in downstate Centralia between Dec. 27, 2010 and Nov. 15, 2011, during which he solicited another inmate to kill Judge Blanche Hill Fawell and Assistant State’s Attorney Audrey Anderson when the inmate was released from prison, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
On December 20, 2010, Fawell sentenced Vanderark to 16 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, the state’s attorney’s office said.
Vanderark would pay the “hitman” $70,000 for the murders, the state’s attorney’s office said. He had already paid him more than $2,000 in advance.
“Approximately two and a half years ago, Gordon Vanderark hatched a plot to get even with those he felt were responsible for his incarceration,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said.
Vanderark will be back in court June 5 for a pre-sentencing hearing. He faces a minimum of 20 years in prison.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)