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In this image taken from a store security video, homicide victim Shannon Hastings, foreground, is seen leaving a Bloomington convenience store May 16, 2017, with Kyle Brestan, the Bloomington man accused of killing her. Hastings' death was one of three homicides the city reported in 2017. 

BLOOMINGTON — A judge set a deadline Friday for staff at the state crime lab to provide a long awaited report in a murder case, or face a mandated court appearance to explain the delay in completing the report.

Judge Casey Costigan set a Nov. 16 court date for Kyle Brestan to determine the status of forensic testing that has brought the murder case to a standstill for months.

If the report is not completed by Nov. 16, staff from the Illinois State Police Morton Crime Lab will be given a court date "to explain what's taking so long," Costigan told lawyers for the state and defense.

Brestan, 34, of Bloomington, is accused of killing Shannon Hastings in May 2017. The 27-year-old victim was found with more than 100 stab wounds in a hotel room on the city's west side. 

On Friday, First Assistant State's Attorney Brad Rigdon told Costigan the forensic tests have been completed and are undergoing peer review before the results are submitted to the state. The prosecutor said a crime lab employee indicated to him Thursday that the McLean County report "is her top priority."

On Friday, Wong said "we've been waiting close to a year, just on the labs alone."

In addition to the murder charges, Brestan also is accused of sexually assaulting and taking illegal photos of a teenage girl from March to May 2017. The pornographic images were found by Bloomington police during their investigation into Hastings' death. Rape charges were filed later after further investigation.

According to police, Brestan met the girl at a local church where he and the girl's father attended support group meetings. The dates of the alleged illegal activity with the minor overlap with the mid-May time frame of Hastings' death, said prosecutors.

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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.

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