A DuPage County judge formally imposed a death sentence on Brian Dugan, the 53-year-old man who admitted to the 1983 kidnapping, rape and murder of a 10-year-old suburban Chicago girl.
Judge George Bakalis earlier Wednesday denied an appeal from Dugan's lawyers to sustain a jury's original verdict of a life sentence.
A jury in November announced they'd reached a verdict in the case against Dugan, then withdrew it. The first verdict called for a life sentence in prison but was never delivered in court. Instead, jurors called for Dugan to be put to death.
Attorneys had hoped Bakalis would preserve the original document. He didn't, saying there's "no decision until jury comes out in open court and tenders it."
Bakalis also rejected a 22-page motion for a new sentencing hearing submitted by attorney Steven Greenberg. Greenberg claimed there were errors made during the proceedings that violated Dugan's due process rights.
Bakalis set a preliminary Feb. 25 execution date, but it will be stayed for Dugan's lengthy appeals.
Dugan admitted to the kidnapping, rape and murder of Nicarico under hypnosis 24 years ago. He pleaded guilty in July, hoping a jury would sentence him to life. He has been serving life sentences since 1985 for two unrelated murders.