A man who was convicted of killing five members of a central Illinois family is set to be sentenced. Christopher Harris is scheduled to be sentenced this afternoon for five counts of first-degree murder. He faces a mandatory life sentence. The 34-year-old used a tire iron to kill five members of his ex-wife's family in 2009 in Beason, Illinois. He admitted killing 14-year-old Dillen Constant, but Harris' lawyers said he only did so after the teenager killed the rest of the family. Harris was also convicted of killing Dillen's mother, his stepfather, his 16-year-old sister, and 11-year-old stepbrother. The community of Beason is about 45 miles northeast of Springfield.
Recent efforts to curb crime are working. That's according to St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson when he spoke with hundreds of people who gathered at the Demetrious Johnson Center for a town hall meeting Thursday night.
Mayor Francis Slay was also there along with several parents of murdered children. All seemed to agree that keeping the dialog going was critical to fighting violent crime in the city.
Chief Dotson says a total of 56 people have been murdered in St. Louis in 2013, 10 fewer than by this time last year. He credits a recent surge of ATF agents in the city with taking more than 200 criminals of the streets.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - A Southeast Missouri State University building will remain closed through mid-August after a rooftop fire.
The university made the announcement Thursday after insurers and engineers assessed the damage that Monday's fire caused to Robert A. Dempster Hall. The building houses business programs and some administrative offices.
The university said in a news release that portions of the building sustained roof, water and smoke damage. Vice president for finance and administration, Kathy Mangels, says the first priority is to get classrooms ready for the fall semester.
During the closure, students and staff have been moved to alternative locations.
Charges are filed against a St. Louis County woman for allegedly stabbing her husband to death.
Police say they were called to the couple's home around 1 AM Thursday for an apparent homicide. That is where they found 76-year-old Ivan Mullenix Sr. dead from an apparent stabbing. Officers also found 69-year-old Mary Mullenix in the house and she was taking into custody.
Town and Country Police say they were called to same house earlier for a domestic disturbance.
Mary Mullenix is held on a half-million dollar bond.
People affiliated with a number of social justice groups held a rally in response to George Zimmerman's acquittal.
Zaki Baruti with the Universal African Peoples Organization believes the Zimmerman verdict says something about the US. "America is not qhat it says it is, it is full of hypocrisy. It is not freedom and justice and equality here in this country." says Baruti.
Protesters gathered outside of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. Organizers say this is just the first activity planned to draw attention to was they say are injustices.
City Police were aware of the event and were happy to announce that there were no arrests made.
A south St. Louis man is in serious condition after he was shot while standing in his front door last night.
Police say that just before midnight the 32-year-old man heard a knock on the front door of his house in the 3900 block of Chippewa. After he opened the door, a suspect shot the man twice in the neck.
Police have not released any information on the suspect.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - The state of Illinois is amplifying its argument that a federal judge reject a push by gun-rights advocates who want to be allowed to publicly carry firearms immediately, rather than waiting months under Illinois' new concealed carry law.
Under the law passed last week, Illinois State Police have about six months to set up a concealed-carry program before accepting applications. Police then have 90 days to process the forms.
Gun-rights advocate Mary Shepard and the Illinois State Rifle Association say that's unconstitutionally too long and want an East St. Louis U.S. District Judge to allow immediate concealed carry.
But Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office argued in a filing Thursday that Shepard needs to file a new complaint spelling out why the law's time allowances are unreasonable.
CHICAGO (AP) - The unemployment rate in Illinois increased slightly in June while manufacturers and local governments cut more jobs than they added.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security says Thursday that unemployment increased to 9.2 percent last month. That was up from 9.1 percent in May. June's figure ended two months of decreasing unemployment.
Employers around the state added a net 5,400 non-farm jobs for the month. And department Director Jay Rowell says the net 9,000 jobs added by private-sector employers is an encouraging sign that they're optimistic about the future.
Meanwhile, manufacturers cut a net 1,600 jobs for the month. Illinois' manufacturing had been one of the state's strongest employment sectors until recent months.
Construction firms added 5,400 jobs in June.
The St. Louis amnesty program is expanding this year.
The program allows people with certain types of arrest warrants to avoid jail time by appearing at certain events. Thousands of people have already participated and now people who have outstanding child support payments will be eligible.
Charges are filed against a man for allegedly shooting his friend after an argument over spilled beer.
Steven Rozier Jr faces charges including murder for allegedly shooting Mario Shackelford several times in the chest.
The incident started when three men, including Rozier and Shackelford, were drinking beer in a car. Rozier spilled his beer and an argument followed. During the argument, police say Rozier got a gun and started shooting.
Shackelford was pronounced dead at the scene.