BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois jury has acquitted one of four people who had been accused in the 2011 stabbing death of a Georgia man.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 39-year-old Christopher Mays of Caseyville was found not guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder and felony murder.
Authorities say 38-year-old Melvin Gregory moved to the area from Conyers, Ga., to live with his girlfriend. After those two got into an altercation that involved Mays and two other defendants, Gregory's body was found in August 2011 on the side of a road by horseback riders near Cahokia.
The three other defendants have pleaded not guilty and await trial.
Officer Matthew Schanz was involved in an incident while off-duty on March 10. In addition to the domestic assault charges, he is also charged with resisting or interfering with an arrest. Schanz has been with the department for three years and was placed on desk duty after the incident. Now that charges are filed, Schanz has been suspended.
Police Chief Sam Dotson says the department is committed to identify officers who undermine the integrity of the department.
Forty-nine-year-old Paul Potter of Kirksville will be arraigned April 2 on first-degree murder and other charges in the January death of 74-year-old Willis Edward Meredith.
Prosecutors say Potter stabbed Meredith, dismembered his body and set fires to conceal the crime. He also allegedly threw the victim's arms at witnesses shortly before he was arrested.
Potter waived his preliminary hearing last Thursday, sending the case to the Adair County Circuit Court.
The Kirksville Daily Express reports that a court order prevents attorneys from discussing the case with the media.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 20-year-old Ralph Alexander and 25-year-old Dontrell Sanders are both charged with first-degree murder and other charges. Both are jailed, Alexander without bail and Sanders on $250,000 cash-only bail.
Authorities say the men were involved in a drive-by shooting on April 5, then another shooting about four minutes later. Police say 47-year-old Tracy Jones died as he sat in a car in the second shooting. A 56-year-old woman survived a wound to the thigh.
The crime was caught by surveillance cameras and the video shows an organized group of criminals. The men--all in masks--broke the front window, walked up to a jewelry cabinet, broke the glass, and started grabbing jewelry. Police said the suspects were in and out of the store within 30 seconds and made off with 150 pieces of jewelry worth around $20,000.
The suspects drove off in Chevy Impala.
Edward Townsend will spend one year in prison after admitting to his role in the May 2012 attack in the Central West End. Neighborhood residents sent nearly two dozen letters to the judge saying Townsend deserved the maximum penalty and the judge agreed.
15-year-old Cameron Coleman walked up to a Jeep in the Baden Neighborhood last May and pulled a gun on the driver. The man behind the wheel was able to free his two kids, aged 6 and 4, from the SUV before Coleman drove off. Two days later, police pulled over Coleman while he was driving the stolen SUV and after a short foot chase, they captured him.
A judge ruled to try Coleman as an adult and he pleaded guilty to several felonies. He will learn his sentence May 5.
Darael Fentress faces multiple charges after police say he stabbed Kyle Roberts during an argument. Roberts was taken to the hospital where he died in the early morning of March 10. Fentress ran away from the scene, but was arrested later than night.
Police were called to the couple's Town & Country home on Monday. When they arrived, they found Suzanne injured and rushed her to the hospital. Autopsy results showed she had died from a blow to the head and this contradicted the statement that William had given to officers. Court documents allege that Gunter is the person who hit his wife in the head and killed her.
William will face 1st degree murder charges and funeral services for Suzanne are set for Friday.
Police say Samwell Fowler asked the girls if they needed a ride home from the South County Mall on the night of March 8. But when they approached the girls' house, Fowler allegedly drove into an alley, locked the doors, and asked the girls for sexual favors. The girls were able to unlock the doors and escape.
The teenage girl told a police officer at her school, and Fowler was found, arrested, and charged with enticement of a minor.