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BLOOMINGTON — A Bloomington man representing himself on triple murder charges has opted for a bench trial, now set for Jan. 14, and filed a motion to dismiss charges.

Sydney Mays Jr., 22, is charged with shooting Nate Pena and Corey Jackson, both 22, and Juan Carlos Perez, 33, in a June 18 incident on Riley Drive. Pena's son, a toddler, was also wounded.

Judge Casey Costigan appointed a public defender Wednesday to serve as standby counsel for Mays with a limited scope of responsibility to answer questions on legal issues. Matters of trial strategy will be left to Mays.

Mays also opted for a bench trial, where Costigan will render a verdict instead of a jury.     

Mays has been reviewing volumes of legal documents and DVDs on a computer at the jail. The thousands of pages of material were transferred to an external hard drive by the state's attorney's office and provided to Mays for trial preparation.

Costigan granted a protective order, requested by Assistant State's Attorney Erika Reynolds, that bars Mays from sharing any materials provided by the state with others. The order requires Mays to follow an Illinois Supreme Court rule that allows defendants to have access to discovery material through their attorneys but prohibits them from possessing or sharing what could be potential evidence.

On Jan. 3, Costigan will hear the suspect's motion to dismiss charges. In his 10-point motion outlined in a single-page, handwritten filing, Mays accuses the state of malicious prosecution and accusation, discrimination and defamation. He also claims violations of his constitutional rights and false imprisonment.

In a recent court filing, the state disclosed names of about 300 potential witnesses who may testify and almost 1,400 exhibits that could be introduced at Mays' trial. The list includes 57 Bloomington police officers, and about 75 residents of the area of the shooting in the 300 block of Riley Drive.

Mays remains jailed in lieu of $700,035.


Photos: 2018 McLean County jail mug shots

Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny

McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.