Updated July 2, 1:00 p.m.
More than two years after the brutal murder of retired school teacher Marilyn Fay in Brookfield, there are indications that the case is moving toward a resolution.
On June 28, at a second conference that included prosecutors and lawyers for the two people accused of Fay’s murder, Judge Noreen Love reportedly laid out the terms of a possible deal in exchange for guilty pleas from Brookfield resident Steven Kellmann and Arlington Heights resident Bonnie Shelesny.
Both Kellmann and Shelesny will appear again in court on Friday, July 20, where they could change their pleas of not guilty. Love has a potential scheduling conflict that day, however, which could postpone that hearing.
Kellmann, 32, has been in police custody since June 14, 2010, the day Fay was found dead in a bedroom inside her home in the 3300 block of Arthur Avenue.
The 65-year-old former Chicago Public School teacher and part-time reference librarian at the Brookfield Public Library had been stabbed multiple times, beaten, strangled and suffocated with a pillow, according to police.
Fay had befriended Kellmann while she worked at the library, and he would often perform odd jobs around her house and sometimes lived at her home when he had no place to stay. Shelesny, 25, knew Fay though Kellmann, who was Shelesny’s boyfriend.
That sort of generosity of spirit would not have been odd for Fay, say those who knew her. Fay’s daughter, Jennifer Piekut, described her mother as a very caring woman who taught in Chicago for 40 years, almost all of that time at a school in an impoverished neighborhood on the city’s West Side.
She was also an animal lover, who spent her 65th birthday with Piekut volunteering at an animal sanctuary in Utah. One neighbor recalled Fay nursing a couple of ailing raccoons back to health.
Police apprehended Kellmann at a motel on the Southwest Side of Chicago in the company of Shelesny. Police reported finding the keys to Fay’s SUV, her credit cards and her cellphone in the motel room and recovered Fay’s SUV, with bloodstains inside of it, parked a couple of blocks away. Also found inside the motel room were blood-stained clothes and 40 bags of heroin, according to police.
During their investigation, police also stated they recovered a murder weapon.
In July 2010, Kellmann was indicted by a grand jury and charged with 18 felonies, including first-degree murder, home invasion, residential burglary and other offenses. He has remained at Cook County Jail with his bond set at $2 million.
Shelesny initially was released after questioning in June 2010, but was arrested that December outside her place of employment in Palatine. Police stated that Shelesny confessed her role in Fay’s death and called her “an active participant in this crime.”
At a press conference announcing Shelesny’s arrest, Brookfield Police Chief Steven Stelter said Fay was murdered in order to get money to feed their heroin habits.
A grand jury charged Shelesny with 36 felonies, including 24 counts of first-degree murder. She is being held without bond at Cook County Jail.