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“Hours before, he lost more money than he would have earned in a year,” said Louison’s attorney David Pugh. Louison had driven from Iowa on his way to deliver a load to Brooklyn and needed money to pay for tolls, food and other expenses. He had gambled every cent in his pocket and his only original intention was to rob the motel. Louison approached the then-20-year-old female desk clerk who was outside smoking a cigarette and talking on

the payphone. He told the clerk he wanted to rent a room, and followed her inside. The clerk gave Louison the $100 in the till after he went behind the counter and threatened her with a 4-inch knife. He then forced her into his truck, bound her hands and feet with shoelaces, drove her to a separate location and sexually assaulted her. He then drove to another exit on Interstate 80 near Utica where he untied her, let her out of the vehicle and stabbed her at least five times including the left side of her

neck. She was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital and later St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria where she was treated. “Except for murder these crimes could not get any more serious than they are,” Bureau County State’s Attorney Pat Herrmann said in his closing arguments. “A murder case could have resulted in a death penalty.” Louison isn’t expected to appeal the ruling. ■ Lindsay Welbers can be reached at (815) 872-1069 Ext. 13 or