Man pleads guilty to murder in dispute over gun at recording studio near Roselle

  • Owen Reneau

    Owen Reneau

Updated 5/27/2020 1:14 PM

An Oak Park man pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder, for shooting a man in a Roselle-area music-recording studio.

Owen Reneau, 32, will be sentenced to 19 years in prison.


The sentence will be imposed June 24, after relatives of the victim, Sanchez Townes-Elliott, present victim-impact statements to Judge Brian Telander.

It was second-degree murder because at the time of the killing, the defendant had "an unreasonable belief such conduct was necessary and was justified" to protect himself, Assistant State's Attorney James Scalatine said in court Wednesday.

According to prosecutors, Reneau and Townes-Elliott, 27, of Glendale Heights, were in the studio at 24W713 Lake St. with other people.

When Reneau was first brought to court, prosecutors said he and Townes-Elliott argued around 2:30 a.m. June 3, 2018, because Townes-Elliot was holding a gun that was making Reneau's girlfriend uncomfortable. Witnesses told authorities that when Townes-Elliott put down the gun, Reneau said "This gun is took. This gun is mine now." Townes-Elliott said "I don't need no gun to fight you."

Wednesday, prosecutors said Townes-Elliott charged at Reneau, the two fought, and Reneau shot Townes-Elliott four times.

Reneau ran off. He was arrested at his brother's house in Baltimore several weeks later.

He was initially charged with first-degree murder. If Reneau had been convicted of that charge, he could have been sentenced to 25 years to natural life in prison. Prosecutors announced they had intended to seek a minimum of at least 45 years.

Reneau is eligible for day-for-day credit, and credit for the time he has been in the DuPage County jail since his arrest in July 2018.

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