18-year-old Rockford teen charged in Royal Ave. murder of Desiree Weir-Stephens

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The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office has announced charges against Matthew L. Cavender, 18, of Rockford, for the murder of Desiree Weir-Stephens on Royal Avenue on May 16th.

Just after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16th, police say Weir-Stephens was sitting outside her home when they allege Cavender walked up to her and started shooting. 

She was taken away by ambulance and later died at the hospital of a gunshot wound to the head.

Cavender has been charged with First Degree Murder, Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm without a FOID card, and Mob Action.

Marilyn Hite-Ross, Chief of the Criminal Bureau, said Cavender and Weir-Stephens were acquainted.

Cavender is currently being held in the Winnebago County Jail on a $1 milliion bond.

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