Weather Updates

Murder charges dropped against man accused of beating wife with hammer

Murder charges have been dropped against a Romeoville man accused of beating his 66-year-old wife with a hammer because autopsy results show the woman died of a heart attack.

Will County prosecutors have filed new, reduced charges against 67-year-old John Sadler, who was charged last July with killing his wife, Carol, then leaving her body in their southwest suburban home for more than a week.

Prosecutors dumped the first-degree murder charges because autopsy results don't prove the woman's head injury caused by the hammer triggered the heart attack that killed her, said Charles Pelkie, a spokesman for Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow.

Complicating the issue is that Carol Sadler suffered from severe heart and respiratory problems prior to her death, Pelkie said.

Sadler is now charged with aggravated battery to a senior citizen and aggravated domestic battery.

The reduced charges, however, prompted Judge Richard Schoenstedt to reduce John Sadler's bail to $300,000 from $3 million.

If convicted of the new charges, Sadler faces up to 7 years in prison.