Salem Man Pleads Guilty In Attempted Murder Case

(SALEM, IL) — An 18-year-old Salem man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Marion County court to three of the felony charges against him in an attempted murder case stemming from an incident earlier this year at a party in Salem that sent two other men to the hospital with gunshot wounds. Tyler Caswell entered an open plea of guilty to a Class X charge of aggravated battery from the discharge of a firearm, Class 4 felony obstructing justice for disposing of the firearm after the shooting, and Class 2 felony unlawful possession of a stolen weapon. Class X felony charges of attempted murder in knowing that his acts created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm were dismissed per the plea agreement, along with Class X felony aggravated battery, two counts Class 1 felony aggravated discharge of a firearm, and two Class 4 felonies — for reckless discharge of a firearm — were all dismissed per the plea agreement. Caswell was scheduled for a final pre-trial hearing today in preparation for a Monday jury trial. He was accused of shooting 21-year-old Jacob Joyner and 21-year-old Jacob Hayes in January during a dispute at a party in Salem. Both Hayes and Joyner were taken to hospitals in St. Louis for treatment of their injuries. They have since been released. According to court records, Caswell maintained he shot Hayes in self-defense and Joyner was shot accidentally during a struggle over the weapon. An open plea does not guarantee a sentence, however, it was agreed that the charges do not require consecutive sentencing. Caswell could be facing at least 62-years in prison. He remains in the Marion County Jail with bail set at $500,000, pending the completion of a pre-sentencing report. A sentencing hearing in the case is scheduled for May 31.