Metro-East News

Waterloo man refuses plea deal, will go to trial on second-degree murder charge

Kodi LaFore
Kodi LaFore Provided by the Randolph County Jail

A 22-year-old Waterloo man charged with killing a Red Bud man apparently refused a plea deal Friday, and a date was set for a jury trial.

Adam Sesto, 36, was fatally stabbed in Red Bud in early January. Just a day after the stabbing, Kodi LaFore was arrested and charged in connection with his death. Authorities have not publicly discussed a possible motive.

Initially, involuntary manslaughter charges were filed, but the charges were upgraded to second-degree murder in February.

Randolph County State’s Attorney Jeremy Walker said he put an offer for a plea deal on the table before a case-management conference Friday. He declined to say what the offer was.

LaFore evidently did not take the deal, as a trial date was set for October. LaFore is free on $5,000 cash bond while awaiting trial, something Sesto’s loved ones are not happy about.

Sesto’s family is still mourning him, and said the days never get easier. His mother, Tammi Reed Light, compared the past four months to being 2 years old and having the scariest nightmare she could imagine, only she’s not able to wake up from it.

She says it’s unfair that the man accused is able to walk free while Sesto is dead.

“I would say it’s going as well as can be expected in a situation where state law allows a life to appear to mean so little,” Reed Light said. “I’m pushing for justice for my son.”

They’re struggling to understand why LaFore can be free on bond and continue to live his life, Reed Light said.

About 20 of Sesto's friends and family members filled the courtroom Friday, about half wearing “Justice for Adam” T-shirts with a smiling photo of his face on the front.

The case has caused a stir on social media, as his friends and family rallied against the manslaughter charge and against LaFore's bail.

They created a Facebook page, Justice for Adam, to keep Adam's friends and family updated on the case.

Kara Berg: 618-239-2626, @karaberg95