Homeless Salem Man Charged With Burglary to Grandfather’s Home

April 30, 2016 Comments off

Matthew Gaines

Bond has been set at $25,000 for an 18-year-old homeless Salem man who was formally charged in Marion County Court Friday with residential burglary.  

Matthew Gaines is accused of breaking into his grandfather David Gaines home on Apple Ridge Road in rural Salem early Thursday morning.  The only item believed missing from the home was a HMR 17 caliber rifle.  The gun has not been located.  

Gaines was already in custody when sheriff’s deputies determined he was allegedly involved in the breakin.   He had been taken into custody at the Jason Hodge home on Nation Road in rural Salem after sheriff’s deputies had gone there looking for the driver of a vehicle involved in the hit and run wreck on Green Street Road.  

Gaines allegedly gave deputies a false name.   He was arrested at that time for a parole hold in a juvenile case.  

Gaines had the public defender appointed to represent him and ordered to have no contact with his grandfather or his home if he was released on bond.  A preliminary hearing was set for May 17th.   

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Salem Man Charged with Aggravated Battery to Pregnant Girlfriend

April 30, 2016 Comments off

Sean Wimberly

A 25-year-old Salem man has been charged in Marion County Court Friday with aggravated battery to a pregnant woman.  

Salem Police say Sean Wimberly of Deer Path Drive allegedly threw his girlfriend, Brittany Finley, to the bed causing a minor facial injury.  She is reportedly eight months pregnant, leading to the elevated aggravated battery charge.

Police say Wimberly allegedly came home Thursday night and demanded Finley to leave.  He then reportedly began throwing her stuff out.  Wimberly allegedly knocked her to the bed when she confronted him.  

Salem Police say Wimberly also attempted to pull away from them when they were placing him in the squad car.  

Bond for Wimberly was set at $15,000.  If he is released on bond, Wimberly was ordered to have no contact with Finley.  He told the court he would hire his own attorney.  First appearance with counsel was set for May 5th.    

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Rural Centralia Man Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Endangerment Charge For Throwing Item Off I-57 Overpass

April 30, 2016 Comments off

Zackary Schilling

A 19-year-old Centralia man has pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular endangerment pending against him in Marion County Court in connection with throwing a soda off an I-57 overpass in November 2013.   

Zackary Schilling of Burge Road was sentenced to five years TASC probation, ordered to undergo drug evaluation and treatment, abstain from drugs, and told to share in making $1,344 restitution with two juvenile co-defendants.  

As part of the plea, three other counts of vehicular endangerment and three counts of burglary were dropped.  The other three vehicular endangerment charges accused Schilling of dropping other items, including a cinder block, bottled water, and a cup of ice, off of I-57 overpasses onto vehicles below.  The burglary counts dropped were for two burglaries at the Centralia Band Shell and one burglary to the Salem Baseball Complex that all took place in late 2013.   

At the time of the incident police indicated only one person received a minor injury from glass in the eye as a result of a shattered windshield.  Those involved allegedly moved from overpass to overpass to stay ahead of police who were getting multiple 9-1-1 calls about the thrown objects.

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Centralia Man Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Fleeing For Lengthy April Police Chase

April 30, 2016 Comments off

A 19-year-old Centralia man who initially successfully fled following a high speed police chase that went through Centralia, the Shattuc area, and Sandoval has pleaded guilty in Marion County Court to aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude police.  

Cole Childress, who told police he was homeless, was sentenced to two years probation, court costs, as well as drug and alcohol evaluation, treatment, and abstention.  He was also given credit for 28 days served in the Marion County Jail.

As part of the plea, a second felony count of aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude police and multiple traffic tickets were dismissed.  

Childress had initially got away from police after his car crashed into a ditch on Barr Street in Sandoval following the chase that began in Centralia and wound through the Shattuc area, before terminating in Sandoval. 

Sheriff’s Deputies had identified Childress as the suspect after reviewing video from the Circle K in Centralia where he had been before the attempted traffic stop.  At that point, they learned Childress was already in custody after being arrested on an unrelated probation violation at the Marion County probation office the day after the chase.

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Centralia Police Add Additional School Resource Officer

April 30, 2016 Comments off

The Centralia City School and High School Districts will have an additional School Resource Officer.  Centralia Police Sergeant Todd Hempen will join Officer Gary Denton who has been conducting these duties for the past several years.

The Centralia Police Department reports the additional officer will ensure that a Certified SRO is available to provide services to the schools every day school is in session and conduct diversion activities every weekend.

Sergeant Hempen received his Bachelor of Science degree from SIU.  He has been a member of the Centralia Police Department since 1988 and has displayed a strong desire to work with the youths in a school setting.

The SRO duties are designed for maximum exposure in full uniform and patrol vehicles to patrol and visit all schools in the Centralia City School Districts.  The duties also include coordinating school safety plans and being utilized for assisting in consulting, programs and special school events.  The SRO is equipped and trained to respond to any law enforcement incidents at the schools and offer and oversee a diversion program to help keep kids out of the criminal justice system.

Centralia Police Chief Doug Krutsinger and Mayor Tom Ashby are big believers in creating partnerships within Centralia to solve issues affecting the community.  

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6 Men Charged with Dismembering Champaign Woman

April 30, 2016 Comments off

CHAMPAIGN. Ill. (AP) – Six people have been charged with dismembering a missing Champaign woman whose remains were found in a central Illinois lake.

Authorities announced Thursday six men are accused of cutting up the body of 24-year-old Ashley Gibson in a northwest Champaign home. Her mother reported her missing April 19. 

Charged are 26-year-old Davion Hedrick, Donte Meeks and Deundrea Weatherspoon, both 25, 28-year-old Randale Banks, 23-year-old Reginald Logan and 19-year-old Javon Tate. Authorities say Hedrick is a resident of the house where the alleged dismemberment occurred.

No charges have been filed relating to her death. Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz says more charges could be filed later.

Gibson’s remains were found Sunday in Clinton Lake in DeWitt County. 

Champaign police Lt. Dave Shaffer says investigators are trying to determine a motive for the dismemberment.

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Rantoul Woman Arrested on Drug Charges at Centralia Hotel Pleads Guilty

April 29, 2016 Comments off

A 20-year-old Rantoul woman has pleaded guilty in Marion County Court to one of three possession of controlled substance charges pending against her.

Zenek Stropes was arrested at the Bell Tower Inn in Centralia when the drugs were discovered in her room as Centralia Police were conducting an investigation into a domestic disturbance.  

Stropes was placed on two years first offender probation, ordered to undergo drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment, complete 30 hours of public service work, and had her $1,000 bond taken to pay court fees and costs. 

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