MORRISON, Ill. (AP) — A northern Illinois teenager pleaded guilty Wednesday to shooting to death her mother because of fears the woman opposed the daughter’s lesbian relationship.
With her guilty plea to second-degree murder in Whiteside County Circuit Court, 17-year-old Anna Schroeder of Morrison faces four to 20 years in prison when she is sentenced in May. The plea comes after a judge ruled Schroeder’s confession that she shot 53-year-old Peggy Schroeder in the head on July 6, 2017 was improperly obtained. Judge Trish Senneff said investigators should have stopped questioning the then 15-year-old when she told them she didn’t want to talk anymore.
Schroeder was charged as an adult with killing her mother, whose body was found in a burning home in Morrison, about 130 miles (209 kilometers) west of Chicago. Her trial was scheduled to begin Jan. 16, but it was canceled Monday. She was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, arson and the concealment of a homicide.
Anna Schoeder’s girlfriend, 17-year-old Rachel Helm, has been charged as an adult with arson and concealing a homicide. Her trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 18.
Schroeder and Helm allegedly spent two days trying to clean the murder scene before setting the house on fire to conceal the crime. Both teens went to authorities after Helm told her mother what transpired.
Helm believed Peggy Schroeder disapproved of the girls’ romantic relationship and planned to end it, and Helm repeatedly urged Schroeder via text to kill her mother so they could be together, investigators have said.
Both girls are being held at a juvenile detention facility in Galesburg.