Convicted murderer in Hinsdale woman's death denied appeal

The man convicted of murdering Hinsdale’s Andrea Urban in 2017 will remain in prison for the rest of his life.

The Second District Appellate Court of Illinois has affirmed the sentence of natural life plus 45 years of Dominic Sanders, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin announced Tuesday. In his petition seeking either a reduced sentence or a new sentencing hearing, Sanders claimed the trial court did not adequately consider his rehabilitative potential when imposing his sentences.

On Jan. 24, 2020, following a nine-day trial, a jury found Sanders guilty of the first-degree murder of Urban on May 4, 2017, He was also convicted of home invasion as well as residential burglary for stealing two rings from Urban’s home and fleeing the scene. Sanders was taken into custody three weeks later after being arrested on an unrelated Will County traffic violation.

The jury also found that the murder was exceptionally brutal or heinous indicative of wanton cruelty, and on June 20, 2020, Judge Brian Telander sentenced Sanders to natural life in prison without the possibility of parole for Urban’s murder, 30 years for home invasion and 15 years for residential burglary. All three sentences will be served consecutively.

At his sentencing hearing, the state presented evidence of two incidents that occurred while Sanders was in custody awaiting trial. One incident, characterized by the court as “a vicious, unprovoked attack,” was against fellow inmate Steven Kelly, in which Sanders was “the main person involved.” The second incident related to Sanders’ attempt to destroy evidence against him. At sentencing, Telander characterized Urban’s murder as “savagely violent, savagely vicious, utterly wicked and evil.” Telander also found Sanders’ criminal history to be “horrendous,” stating “the public needs to be protected from you forever.”

The appellate court disagreed with Sanders’ assertions that the court abused its discretion at sentencing. In its decision, the court noted that “the viciousness of Urban’s murder was seen again in Kelly’s beating” and consequently, “the trial court reasonably found that defendant lacked rehabilitative potential.”

“I thank the Appellate Court for their thorough analysis of this case and their finding that a sentence of natural life plus 45 consecutive years is not only appropriate, but warranted in this case,” Berlin said. “The brutal, merciless murder of Andrea Urban destroyed a loving family and shook the entire community to its core. The Appellate Court’s decision ensures that Mr. Sanders will spend the rest of his life behind bars, a sentence he has most certainly earned.”