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Cox won’t get new trial

WOODSTOCK -- A McHenry County judge set the stage for the sentencing of Billy J. Cox later this week by ruling Tuesday that the Bull Valley businessman would not be given a new trial.

Cox will face between six and 60 years in prison when he is sentenced Friday for trying to kill his wife in 2004. Prosecutors have said they'll seek the maximum prison term.

The sentencing hearing should last only one afternoon. Cox's wife, Carolyn, is the only witness expected to be called. Prosecutors said she would read a statement on how the crime has affected her.

Cox's attorney, Mark Gummerson, doesn't expect his client to make any statements.

"He's not going to get up there and make some apology for something he didn't do," Gummerson said. "He's remorseful for what happened to his wife, but not at his hands."

A jury convicted Cox, 66, in April of attempted murder and aggravated domestic battery. Prosecutors said Cox beat his wife with a blunt object and then locked her in a five-car garage with vehicles running in his quest to killer her.

Carolyn Cox spent two weeks in a Milwaukee hospital after the attack recovering from facial bone fractures.

Cox's defense had sought a new trial based on allegations that prosecutors failed to disclose exculpatory evidence, that a judge improperly barred a pertinent defense witness and that jurors discussed the case outside the courtroom during the trial.

Judge Joseph Condon on Tuesday gave little explanation for his ruling.

Outside the courtroom, Gummerson said Cox's defense team would now work at filing an appeal to an Illinois appellate court.

During the trial, which spanned March and April, Gummerson alleged that Carolyn Cox fell off a ladder in the garage and that her son planted the attack story in her head in order to capture the family fortune.

Cox's defense took issue with Condon over his decision to bar a false-memory expert who would have been called as a witness.

B.J. Cox and his family made their fortune with the Richmond-based Exacto Chemical Co., which he started in the early 1980s.

Cox has been held in McHenry County Jail without bond since his conviction.

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