Accused Dixon High shooter shouldn’t be “thrown to the wolves,” attorney says

DIXON, Illinois -- The teen accused of opening fire inside Dixon High School pleaded not guilty today to three felony charges.

Matt Milby, 19, appeared by video conference in Lee County on Friday, May 18.

"Do you understand what I just read?" asked Judge Ronald Jacobson.

"Yes, your Honor," Milby replied, following each charge.

While Defense Attorney Thomas Murray describes his client as a "polite boy," the charges point to a troubled teenager.

Milby is accused of shooting at school resource officer Mark Dallas and gym teacher Andrew McKay on school property.

The incident occurred during a graduation practice at Dixon High School on Wednesday, May 16.

All of the charges are Class X felonies that carry decades in prison if convicted.

"The allegations are among the most serious crimes you can commit," said Lee County State's Attorney Matthew Klahn.  "Public safety should rule the day."

After the 12-minute hearing, Murray said he understood why Milby's bond remains at $2 million.

"Matt is the only one that took physical injury in the incident," he continued.  "There's a lot of emotional injury for sure."

Julie Milby, the defendant's mother - who bought the weapon used in the shooting - left the courthouse abruptly following the hearing.

"They've very concerned, confused and heart broken," Murray said.

While Dixon High prepares for graduation, Murray says it's too early to consider moving the trial.  He adds, though, that just about anything that will help this situation is on the table.

"We commend the way the police department handled the situation," he said.  "But that doesn't mean that Matt should be thrown to the wolves.  He needs someone looking out for him, and that's what I intend to do."

Milby is due back in court on Wednesday, May 23, in Dixon.