ROMEOVILLE, Ill., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Murder charges against an Illinois man accused of hitting his wife with a hammer and leaving her to die have been reduced to battery charges, authorities say.
John Sadler, 67, of Romeoville, who had been charged with first-degree murder, is now facing charges of aggravated battery to a senior citizen and aggravated domestic battery in the death of Carol Sadler, 66, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.
Two pathologists on the case said they couldn't tell with certainty that the hammer blow to Carol's head caused the heart attack that killed her, said Chuck Pelkie, a Will County state's attorney spokesman.
John Sadler's bail was lowered from $3 million to $300,000. If convicted, he faces a mandatory sentence of three to seven years in prison.
The semi-retired certified public accountant was charged in July with killing his wife and leaving her body by the front door of their home for more than a week.
"I think that (the pathology information) would have come out in the defense of the case," said Sadler's lawyer, Ignatius Villasenor.
Sadler's next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 17.