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Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty for Pasch

April 8, 1986

CHICAGO (AP) _ Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing two people and holding an elderly woman hostage for 35 hours.

John Pasch Jr., 57, charged with two counts of murder, appeared briefly in court Monday, while about 1,200 mourners attended the funeral of the police officer killed before last week’s standoff.

Associate Judge Fancis Gembala upheld a no-bond order issued during the weekend, and Pasch was returned to the Cook County Jail.

″We are going to be seeking the death penalty, assuming we can convict him,″ said Assistant State’s Attorney Richard Stock.

At Stock’s request, the case was continued to April 21 pending additional charges.

″There will be counts of armed violence, aggravated kidnapping″ and possibly others, Stock said.

Pasch is accused of fatally shooting his landlord, Leslie Shearer, 45, of suburban Barrington, when Shearer tried to collect past-due rent Thursday.

Pasch also is charged in the death of officer Richard Clark, 48, who had responded to reports of gunfire.

After the two men were fatally wounded, Pasch went to the home next door, where he held Jean Wiwatowski, 74, hostage until his surrender early Saturday, police said. Mrs. Wiwatowski was not harmed.

Police said they found mounds of garbage as well as weapons, ammunition and homemade bombs at Pasch’s small apartment.

The unemployed Pasch, who police said shot two of Mrs. Wiwatowski’s dogs and threw them out a window, spent most of his time watching television and reading action books before Thursday’s shootings, according to neighbors.

Gov. James R. Thompson joined Mayor Harold Washington, 800 police officers and other mourners at Clark’s funeral.

Clark, a father of three, ″honored the whole city with his courage,″ Thompson said after the service.