Morrison teen pleads not guilty to mother’s murder

MORRISON, Illinois – A teenager accused of shooting and killing her mother has pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against her in adult court.

Anna Schroeder, age 16, appeared in Whiteside County Court on Wednesday, August 15.

Judge Trish Joyce read the charges against Schroeder: two counts of first-degree murder, one count of arson and one count of concealment of a homicide.  Schroeder’s defense attorney, James Mertes, entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf.

The first-degree murder charges carry a potential 20 to 60 years in prison, with three years of mandatory supervised release.  Concealment of a homicide carries a potential two to five years in prison, with one year of mandatory supervised release.  The arson charge carries a potential three to seven years in prison, with two years of mandatory supervised release.

Schroeder is accused of shooting her mother, 53-year-old Peggy Schroeder in the head back in July of 2017, according to the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators said Anna Schroeder, who was 15 at the time, texted a picture of her mother’s body to Rachel Helm, who was also 15 at the time.  Helm then came to help clean up at the house in the 800 block of West Park Street.

According to previous reports, the two planned to run away, but first set the West Park Street house on fire.

Helm and Schroeder were both being charged in adult court.

Helm was being charged with arson and concealment of a homicide.

Schroeder was scheduled to appear in court again on September 26 at 1:30 p.m.