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Inmate charged in Rockford lawyer's 2008 death

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 10:43 p.m. CDT

ROCKFORD – Murder charges were announced Wednesday against the one-time client of a Rockford attorney who was fatally shot while clearing snow from his driveway in 2008.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato said a grand jury has indicted Richard E. Wanke Jr., 53, on charges of first-degree murder in the death of Gregory H. Clark, 60. Wanke was arrested Wednesday at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, where he has been serving a 14-year sentence on burglary charges with a projected parole date of May 7.

Wanke previously was named a person of interest in the case. The Rockford Register Star reported that he has denied involvement in Clark’s death.

Bruscato wouldn’t say what led to the charges being filed six years after the killing. Rockford Police Department Deputy Chief David Hopkins said “nothing has dramatically changed” and described the investigation as “methodical, sometimes grueling.”

Wanke’s prison sentence was for stealing a laptop from a Rockford University professor. Clark was his attorney in the case.

Wanke is being held without bond and is due in Winnebago County court next week, Bruscato said.

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