CARMI – A Crossville man convicted back in September of first-degree murder in the death of his mother – Cathy Bradenstein – was sentenced in White County Court Wednesday.
White County State’s Attorney Denton Aud said 36-year-old Clayton Andrew Swanner pled guilty but mentally ill to the offense. Consequently, Swanner admitted that he had started a fire in their home on Nov. 7, 2019 and held his mother in the fire knowing that such act created a strong probability of her death.
Bradenstein suffered severe burns and ultimately passed away from her injuries on Jan. 10, 2020. Swanner was looking at a possible sentencing range to the Illinois Department of Corrections between 20 and 45 years.
Aud said Illinois officials requested that the court sentence Swanner to 45 years in state prison. The judge imposed a sentence of 37 years for Swanner, who will have to serve the full sentence and will not be eligible to receive any good-time credit towards his sentence. He will also have to serve three years of mandatory supervised release. Aud added Swanner will not be eligible for parole until he is 72 years old.
White County Sheriff Doug Maier, his department, and Illinois State Fire Marshall were the investigating agencies.