State’s high court delays Iowa man’s sentencing for Ottawa man’s death

State’s high court delays Iowa man’s sentencing for Ottawa man’s death

Sentencing for 43-year old Mason Shannon of Mason City, Iowa is on hold while the Illinois Supreme Court decides what to do about claims that a LaSalle County judge, prosecutors, and police were unfair to him. Shannon was scheduled for sentencing Thursday in the involuntary manslaughter of 32-year old Michael Castelli of Ottawa during a fight in 2017. But Shannon’s lawyer asked the Illinois Supreme Court to put it on hold, and the high court did earlier this week.

The defense claims Judge H. Chris Ryan had a financial interest in convicting Shannon because for an appeal the defense would have to buy transcripts from Ryan’s wife who was the court reporter for the case. The defense also claims police and prosecutors were biased against gays.

Judge Ryan found Shannon guilty in September; State’s Attorney Karen Donnelly says the case is on hold until the Illinois Supreme Court sends instructions.