Prosecutors say Mathew Nellessen, 19, killed his father, 55-year-old George Nellesen, because he wanted money.
He is being held without bond. Nellessen's three co-defendants were also in court Monday. Bond was set at $3 million for Marlon Green, 20; $2 million for Armon Braden, 20 and $1.5 million for Azari Braden, 19.
Nellessen allegedly recruited the three men to rob his father.
"Mathew Nellessen told Marlon Green he was going to kill the victim because the victim was going to call the police. Mathew Nellessen then stuffed a rag his father's mouth. He wrapped up duct tape around his father's eyes and nose. Mathew Nellesen then went to the garage, retrieved a baseball bat and came back to the family room where his father sat blindfolded, gagged and bound, and helpless, and he pulled that bat back and swung it five times -- full force -- at his father's head," said Asst. State's Attorney Maria McCarthy.
Prosecutors say the young men confronted George Nellessen inside his Arlington Heights home on Tuesday, April 12. Mathew Nelleson had just be released from jail, and prosecutors say the father worried his son would try to kill him when he moved back home.
The four men allegedly forced George Nellessen to write them a $100,000 check and give them his online and ATM banking passwords and PIN.
Prosecutors say the victim begged his son not to take his retirement money. Once the group allegedly got what they wanted, the victim is said to have threatened to call police. That is when prosecutors allege the son made the decision that his father needed to be killed.
According to prosecutors, all three men --except for Mathew Nellessen-- have confessed.
A friend of Mathew Nellessen was in court Monday and was is still trying to make sense of the case.
"Me and my friends, we can't believe it. We have known him since we were like 8 years old. He's a really sweet kid. He genuinely is a sweet kid. He has taken care of me when I was sick before. He's just been a really good friend of mine, and it's just hard to believe that something like this could happen," friend Amanda Meinheit said.
Authorities say they have surveillance video of Mathew Nellessen trying to cash his father's check, amongst other evidence linking all of the young men to the crime.
George Nellessen's body was found inside his Arlington Heights home last Thursday after he failed to show up for work for a few days. When someone showed up at the house to check on him, that person reportedly asked Matthew Nellessen how his father was doing, and the son allegedly replied, "You'll know when you see him."
Prosecutors say Nellessen then left the home immediately and led police on a chase to East Dundee, where he was taken into custody.
Court records show the father and son had a history of domestic violence. The records also show Mathew Nellessen has a criminal history, which includes various drug-related charges and other convictions.
Two of the others suspects also have criminal records.
Mathew Nellessen is being held without bail. The other three suspects had bond set in excess of $1 million.