Court records detail Rockford stabbing attack suspect Christian Soto's past police contacts

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel, and Tom Jones WLS logo
Friday, March 29, 2024
What we know about Rockford stabbing attack suspect Christian Soto
Before his 20-minute stabbing spree Wednesday, Christian Soto did not have a criminal record of serious offenses, but did have tickets and a federal charge for property damage.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An ABC 7 I-Team review of court records found 22-year-old Christian Soto, the suspect accused of committing a quadruple killing spree in Rockford had some police encounters but no apparent history of violence until now.

According to Winnebago County court records, Soto faced numerous traffic violations over the past two years: from driving without a license, having no vehicle registration or insurance to excessive speed tickets.

And at the time of Wednesday night's stabbing spree and vehicle attacks, Soto was also facing a felony charge for criminal damage to property, according to the Winnebago County State's Attorney J. Hanley.

"In 2022, [Soto] was charged with a class four felony, criminal damage to property," Hanley said during a news conference on Thursday. "[Soto] was alleged to have spun out his car on the Black Hawk Forest Preserve."

READ MORE: Rockford stabbing attack victims ID'd, suspect charged after 4 killed, 7 hurt with knife, bat, truck

That incident in the remote Black Hawk Forest Preserve off of S. Mulford Road, and not far from Soto's home, resulted in more than $2,000 in property damage which the court ordered Soto to pay restitution for, according to Winnebago County court records.

Records obtained by the ABC 7 I-Team show that Soto was required to pay that restitution by Thursday, March 28, and that the murder rampage occurred less than 24 hours before the money was due.

Restitution that, according to court records, may have been transferred over from the bond he posted in that two-year-old felony case.

For law enforcement and the community of Rockford, whatever Soto's alleged motive, there is a hunger for answers.

Hanley said it's clear the public is wanting additional context as to why this crime occurred, but at this point of the investigation, answers are limited.

"[Soto's] saying that he smoked marijuana that may have been laced, and that's what he discussed," Hanley said. "There also seems to be a real consciousness of what he did, that he was conscious. So, I don't really have a good answer for that."

Soto's next court appearance is scheduled for April 2.