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Crime & Courts

Former Rockford man charged with sexual assault

ROCKFORD - A former Rockford resident was returned to Winnebago County from Arkansas last week and charged with four counts of sexual assault. Andrew Hale, 58, was booked into the Winnebago County Jail Friday, Sept. 7, after being arrested in Springdale, Arkansas. Hale is charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || ).push({}); Police say the Hale's arrest stems from an investigation by the Rockford Police

Rockford Police investigate fatal shooting

ROCKFORD - The Rockford Police Department is investigating a fatal shooting officials say happened in the 2200 block of Sharon Avenue early Saturday morning, Sept. 8. Officers arrived on the scene at approximately 5 a.m., and located a Hispanic male suffering from an gunshot wound lying in the street. Rockford Fire Department also responded and transported the victim to a local hospital where he later died. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || ).push({}); The name of the victim is not being released at this

Police searching for suspects in two robberies

ROCKFORD - The Rockford Police Department is still searching for suspects in two robberies. On Tuesday, Aug. 28, at approximately 7 p.m., officers responded to a robbery at Jasmine’s Pantry, in the 2600 block of Kilburn Avenue and determined a suspect entered the business and battered the female clerk. The victim was knocked unconscious, and the suspect took some of her belongings. The suspect is described as a black male between 18 and 25, about 5-8 with a thin build. He was lastseen where a stocking hat, black…

Michael Mernack guilty on all counts in teen’s slaying

ROCKFORD - The man accused in the brutal slaying of 16-year-old Rebecca Finkenhofer nearly two years ago is guilty as charged. Michael E. Mernack, 37, was found guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder, home invasion and aggravated battery Thursday after a three-day trial in front of Chief Judge Joe McGraw. The jury returned the verdict 7:30 p.m. They were sent out of the courtroom to deliberate at 5:24 p.m. Mernack killed Finkenhofer, a Harlem High School sophomore, on Dec. 28, 2016. He also wounded her…

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Police investigate shooting incident

ROCKFORD - The Rockford Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred on the city's west side. On Tuesday, Sept. 4, shortly before 10:30 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of South Henrietta Avenue in reference to a possible shooting. Upon arrival, officers learned the victim drove to her home and found several individuals in the road. A fight broke out between the victim and five suspects who had an ongoing dispute with the victim’s daughter. The suspects then fled in a boxy, white four-door…

FBI violent crime database gets boost

The infusion of money for the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program comes after ProPublica reported on shortcomings in the use of a database meant to assist in capturing serial killers and rapists.