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Lovato pleads not guilty to murder in Macomb apartment shooting

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Rich Egger
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Tri States Public Radio
The shooting occurred in an apartment building on North Charles Street, on the east edge of the Western Illinois University campus.

Lovato's attorneys entered the not guilty plea and requested a jury trial after he waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Dylan B. Lovato, 23, of Beach Park, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ivan Almanza.

Lovato appeared before 9th Circuit Judge David Vancil on Monday in McDonough County court, sitting between defense attorneys Justin Bougher and Andrew Stuckart.

Bougher entered the not guilty plea on behalf of his client and requested a jury trial after Lovato waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Lovato is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the March 9 shooting death of Almanza.

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McDonough County jail
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Dylan Lovato, now 23, of Beach Park, is charged with first-degree murder.

The early morning shooting was at the Four Oaks Apartments in the 400 block of North Charles Street adjacent to the campus of Western Illinois University.

Police identified Almanza as an acquaintance of Lovato’s ex-girlfriend, who lived at the apartment.

Lovato was on the lease to the apartment and still had a key, according to police.

Almanza was 23 at the time of his death.

According to his obituary, he graduated from Waukegan High School in 2016 prior to beginning his education at WIU.

He later worked in a local nursing home and enrolled at Spoon River College with the goal of becoming a registered nurse and nurse practitioner.

Both Lovato and Almanza were affiliated with the Sigma Pi fraternity at WIU.

Lovato graduated from WIU in 2020 with a degree in law enforcement, a university spokesperson confirmed.

Lovato’s next court appearance is a pre-trial conference scheduled for May 3.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson covers west central Illinois and southeast Iowa for Tri States Public Radio.