Holiday Hills shooter moved to prison for life sentence before family gets to say good bye

The wife of Scott Peters, the Holiday Hills man sentenced Thursday to 135 years in prison, this morning was in tears as she told the judge her husband had been sent away to prison this before she and their daughter could say good bye.

Lisa Peters cried as she stood before Judge Sharon Prather holding the paperwork in her hand that the judge had signed yesterday at the close of Peters’ sentencing. The pink copy court order stated that Peters would be allowed one contact visit with his wife and their 13-year-old daughter.

Peters told the judge that she had gone yesterday, immediately after the sentencing and pre-arranged with his jailers to be there at 9 a.m. this morning. She said she waited for the jailers to get their copies of the court order as well and then scheduled the visit.

“Me and my daughter came to say good bye to him and he’s gone,” she said tearfully.

Prather, who sentenced Peters to what is essentially a life sentence for shooting at three McHenry County deputies — seriously injuring two, apologized and told Peters that sending her husband away before she saw him was “inconsiderate.”

“However, there is nothing I can do,” Prather said.

The woman, with her daughter at her side, left the courtroom in tears and said “Nobody cares.”

Dave Devane, chief administrative officer who oversees the jail and police operations, said the jail never received its copy of the court order stating the contact visit had been approved by Prather — a copy of what Peters had in her hand on Thursday.

However, Peters said when she went to the jail after the sentencing she waited until the jailers received that paperwork so she could schedule her visit.

That same court order also included the approved request to allow Peters to make two non-collect phone calls, and Peters said her husband had called her Thursday night. So, Lisa Peters, questioned if he was allowed to make the phone calls then they should have known he also would have been allowed a visit. She said jailers knew she was coming to visit.

Devane denies the jail ever received the court order and said no visit was ever scheduled.

“The officer went up to (the courtroom to) find the yellow order and looked all around and couldn’t find it, therefore we were never given an official court order to permit this visit. (Visits) don’t happen without a court order. The scheduling doesn’t have any legal significance, the court order does,” Devane said.

He said Peters was moved at 5:45 am Friday morning as a single passenger to Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill.

He said Peters had been “cheeking” his medication, was on a razor restriction and on suicide watch. Devane declined to say what the medication was and for what he was prescribed.

Throughout Scott Peters’ detainment in the county jail since his October arrest he repeatedly alleged mistreatment by jailers. Each time Prather found them to have no basis.
Devane said today that Peters’ accusations against his jailers are “untrue.”

Holiday Hills shooter sentenced to 135 years in prison: Victims and loved ones share their stories

Scott Peters, the Holiday Hills man who shot and wounded two McHenry County deputies as they made a well-being check at his home last October, was sentenced today to 135 years in prison.

During today’s sentencing the eight-year-old son of Deputy Khalia Satkiewicz, one of the wounded officers, described his thoughts at first seeing his mother in the hospital and wanting to give her a hug.

“When I saw her in the bed I felt very sad … I felt mad at the man who shot my mommy,” said Nicholas Satkiewicz as his tears filled the courtroom.

Peters, 52, who was found guilty in April of 15 counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm at a peace officer, sat stoic as his sentence was read.

Just after 1 a.m. Oct 16, Peters fired shots from an assault rifle at Satkiewicz and Deputy Dwight Maness thorough a closed front door.

He then opened the door and chased them, still shooting, as they ran for cover in the darkness. He struck and seriously wounded the deputies. He also fired shots at a third deputy, Eric Luna, who was not injured. Peters then led authorities on a 16-hour manhunt before being arrested.

Satkiewicz’s 13-year-old daughter Sierra said seeing her mom wounded and crying for the first time in the hospital was “heartbreaking.”

“My mother didn’t deserve any of this,” she said.

As the children read their statements Peters sat without emotion, however, his wife Lisa, quietly wiped away tears.

Robert Satkiewicz, an Illinois State Police Master Sergeant, described what Peters did that night — hiding behind a door and shooting at officers who went to his home to help his own wife and daughter– as “hurtful, destructive and cowardice.”

“You are lucky I wasn’t there, you wouldn’t be here today,” he told Peters. “You are a domestic terrorist and should be treated as such. … “I pray you never see the light of day outside prison walls again.”

Deputy Khalia Satkiewicz said “Nightmare cannot begin to describe the terror I felt that night.”

“The night turned into an ambush that was meant to kill us … His agenda was clear, he was hellbent on killing us,” she said adding that she saw her children’s faces before her as she ran for cover.

“We should be dead … God was with us that night. “Evil showed itself on Oct. 16 in the form of Scott Peters,” she said. “The physical wounds will heal but the mental and emotional scars will be with me my entire lifetime.”

Maness’ colleague McHenry County Police Sergeant Travis McDonald, read a statement written by Maness who could not attend the sentencing. He suffered new injuries this week to his right leg following a procedure to help repair his left leg and was in the hospital. He has so far undergone 15 surgeries.

Maness wrote that for his whole life, including serving 20 years in the military and as a police officer the last seven, he has been a “warrior” and has “(stood) up for people who cannot stand up for themselves.”

Calling Peters a “coward” and a “sociopath” Maness wrote that Peters “has no honor” and “does not know what it is like to sacrifice.

“It is all about him,” Maness wrote. He added that the injuries sustained in the ambush have caused him to lose “every ounce of dignity” and he credited his wife Sue with caring for him.

The events of that night have caused him to be “shut out form the outside world” and he has suffered greatly physically, mentally and emotionally.

However, he said, the incident had brought the department closer together and that after that day deputies “held their children a little tighter and told their spouses they loved them a little more.”

Despite his injuries, Maness said “I am a warrior and will continue to walk the warrior’s path.”

His wife, Sue Maness, described getting the phone call at 2 a.m. that her husband had been shot.

“I was paralyzed with fear and sick to my stomach,” she said.

“My husband is the epitome of what a soldier, a police officer and a man should be … (you are) coward hiding behind a door. What kind of a man is that?
Before the hearing got underway, the prosecutor played an audio recording of a phone call Peters made to his wife after being found guilty on April 30. On the recording Peters tells his wife that he was found guilty and asks her to find him a new lawyer. He made claims that his attorneys, jail officers and the jury were all against him and that he was not treated fairly. He also accused police officers of taking the front door off and shooting more bullet holes into it, setting him up.

“The whole thing is rigged,” he repeatedly told his wife.

Often referring to one another as “baby and “honey” Peters told his wife he was sorry and that she didn’t have to stay with him.

Before sentencing his public defense attorney Angelo Mourelatos said Peters may suffer some mental health issues including depression, delusions and post traumatic stress disorder. He also said a long prison term could be a hardship on his wife and 13-year-old daughter.

Peters apologized to all the families who were hurt by what he did. He said he has “been stick to my stomach ever since” that night.

“In the end there were families on each side of the door at my house that night,” Peters said. “I pray everyone will recover from it.”

Before handing down, what is essentially a life sentence, Prather told Peters that he had never taken responsibility nor shown any remorse for what he did. She also called his accusations in the phone call to his wife in which he said the officers staged the crime scene by shooting bullets into his front door as “ludicrous.”

Prather said the responsibility of what happened “lays right at your feet.”

“There was no nonsense in this case, no lies, the only lies I heard in this case came from you,” Prather said.

Deputies surprised by gunfire under the darkness of night: A story of courage and thanksgiving

What began as a typical midnight shift patrolling the quiet streets of Island Lake, quickly turned menacing when officers were alerted that sheriff’s deputies had come under fire in nearby Holiday Hills.

Within minutes of the call for help, at about 1:40 a.m. Island Lake Police Officers arrived at a crime scene to find two McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies gunned down and the armed assailant’s whereabouts unknown.

Under the cover of darkness on that chilly October morning three deputies made a well-being check on a home of a man now charged with opening fire on them. Authorities say that Scott B. Peters shot 15 .223-caliber bullets from a long-range AR 15 assault rifle at the deputies, seriously injuring two.

The harrowing incident has given new meaning to Thanksgiving for those involved.

Island Lake Police Officer Victoria Gwizdak, a single mom who lives with her 12-year-old daughter in Lake in the Hills, said this was the first time she was involved in an incident such as this – a shooter hidden in darkness, not knowing where he may have been or if he was still aiming his rifle at her and fellow officers.

She kept calm, did all that she was trained to do, continued to protect the fallen officers – but admitted that all the while she also thought about her own young daughter, and whether she would make it back home to her at the end of this shift.

“I’m most grateful that we all got home safe,” Gwizdak said noting that the injured deputies -whom she never met before this fateful night- also had loved ones and young children depending on them to make it home safe.

Last week, the wounded deputies Dwight Maness, 46, and Khalia Satkiewicz, 39, were present when Island Lake Deputy Chief David Walz detailed the first few terrifying moments when Gwizdak and officer Gilbert Hueramo drove down the dark road leading to Peters’ home at 1313 W. Northeast Shore Drive, spotted the wounded officers and protected them.

“Anybody and everybody on the street that night was in extreme danger,” Walz said.

Hueramo, 48, found Satkiewicz crouched down between two squad cars. She told him there was a shooter inside the white house and said she needed a tourniquet for Maness.

As Gwizdak covered him and moved Satkiewicz out of harms way, Hueramo ran to Maness lying in the street about 150 feet away, Hueramo applied a tourniquet to his bleeding left leg.

Not knowing where the shooter was or if he was going to continue shooting, Hueramo drug Maness further from the property with his left hand, keeping his right hand free to grab his gun if necessary. He was headed toward an iron fence that separates a neighboring subdivision, hoping to find a gate to get out of the possible line of fire. But in the darkness it was impossible to find it.

Once help arrived to care for Satkiewicz, Gwizdak ran to assist Hueramo and Maness. She had to climb over a 6-foot fence to reach them.

As Hueramo tried to turn Maness over to pick him up and carry him, Maness yelled out in pain, and the officers saw the deputy also had been shot in the back. One grabbing each hand, they carried him further away from the property. Hueramo prepared to drive Maness to the hospital himself, but moments later an ambulance and other help arrived.

“They did not hesitate to help their fellow officers and we are very proud of what they did,” Walz said.

Gwizdak said 19 hours after the incident began she returned home to see her daughter Jessica, 12.

“I gave her a hug of a lifetime,” she said. “But I was kind of sad for Khalia and Dwight.” Gwizdak said as the day’s events “settled in” it hit her that she returned home at the end of the day, and they were in the hospital.

“I’m so thankful that I was there and I did a good job,” she said.

On Thanksgiving Day Gwizdak said she will be most thankful for the loving people in her life, simple thoughts that may have been taken for granted on holiday’s past.

“I think that (I will) probably remember the real meaning of Thanksgiving,” she said.

“It won’t be that we are getting together to eat and stuff ourselves. It’s more we are thankful for what’s in front of you and whose in front of you. … We get busy in our lives and take lives for granted and when something like this happens you remember what you are thankful for and how lucky you are. … And to know (Maness and Satkiewicz) are gonna be home for thanksgiving … doesn’t that sound awesome?”

Gwizdak’s thoughts also turn to Peters’ own 12-year-old daughter this Thanksgiving.

”I hope she can have a somewhat normal Thanksgiving,” she said. “I hope she can be with the people that do love her … I hope she feels loved on that day.”

On this Thanksgiving Day, Jessica said she is thankful for her home and having parents who care for her. She is especially thankful her mom made it home that day. She said she is proud of her mother.

“I’m happy she wasn’t the one that got shot,” she said.

Hueramo, Gwizdak and a third officer Lisa Knebl were presented with life saving awards from the Island Lake Police Department and awards for bravery from the mayor of Holiday Hills.

Hueramo, of Mt. Prospect, today works as a part-time police officer in the far northwest suburban community, but has worked in law enforcement for 20 years including as a police officer on the city’s south side where he has come under gunfire.

He said he is most thankful he was on duty Oct. 16.

He originally was not scheduled to work but was called in at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday when another officer went home sick.

When reflecting on the holiday, Hueramo said he is thankful for the extra training he had received form the Illinois Tactical Officers Association which prepared him for responding in an active shooter scenario and officer rescue.

“It was just the luck of the draw that I was there,” he said adding that no other Island Lake officer has the extensive training he has, nor do they carry the battery of medical supplies that he has been trained to carry, including the tourniquets he had to wrap the deputies’ wounds.

“I’m thankful I was there because Dwight has a family, he’s got kids, Khalia has kids …,” he said adding he is thankful McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Luna was there on the scene first.

“If Eric Luna wasn’t there we could have all been killed,” he said. “If it wasn’t for Eric Luna returning fire … the guy would have killed them and as we would have been coming down the street he would have tried to kill us,” Hueramo said.

Hueramo said Maness’s chances for survival came down to the wire, having lost three pints of blood by the time he made it to the hospital. The officers arrived on the scene in three minutes, Hueramo said had it taken them five minutes to arrive and rescue the fallen deputies there could have been a more grave outcome.

“Thank God everything happened the way it did,” he said. “We were literally down to the minuets before it could have been all over.”

Hueramo’s mother Anne said this holiday season she is thankful her son is alive and that he was able to be there for the wounded deputies. She said although she knows her son is in a dangerous line of work, this incident really brought that fact to life.

“The man who did that, it was his intent to shoot the officers, that is what he wanted to do … like a trap or something,” she said. “He could have been killed very easy … I am very thankful, happy he wasn’t shot and he’s still alive and that no body else was killed either. It could have gone the opposite way very easy.”

After last week’s award’s ceremony, Satkiewiz’s husband, Illinois State Police Major Sgt. Robert Satkiewicz walked up and shook Hueramo’s hand and said thank you.

“I think they’re heroes,” he said. “I think they’re awesome.”

Police Chief Keith Nygren recently presented Maness and Satkiewicz with Purple Hearts. Luna, who sheltered the wounded officers while exchanging gunfire with Peters was honored with the Award of Valor. Luna is back at work while Maness and Satkiewicz are still recovering.

The Oct. 16 incident drew hundreds of police officers from several departments from across the state.

Peters, 52, who led police on a 17-hour manhunt before being captured that day, is being held in the McHenry County jail on $7 million bond. He has pleaded not guilty to six counts of first-degree attempted murder, five counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm at a peace officer acting in the official capacity, and two counts of aggravated battery discharge of a firearm at a peace officer acting in an official duty.

Peters is expected back in court Dec. 12. The charges against Peters carry “special sentencing” because he shot at police officers, prosecutors said. He faces a minimum of 165 years to natural life in prison if convicted.