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CHESTER, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois judge has ordered a mental evaluation of a man accused of setting a house fire that killed four children.

The mental fitness examination for 33-year-old Derrick Twardoski was requested Monday by James Kelley, his Randolph County public defender.

A hearing on the testing's outcome is scheduled for June 20.

Twardoski has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder in the May 10 deaths in Percy, a village about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. The fire killed siblings ages 12, 9 and 5-year-old twins.

The county's state's attorney, Jeremy Walker, has said he doesn't consider the fire random. Although he's declined to say why authorities suspect Twardoski set it or whether Twardoski knew anyone who lived in the home.

 
Published in Local News

One of the brothers injured during a botched robbery this morning in south St. Louis, has died. Now, they are asking for help to local the suspect in the murder.

On Friday, the suspect walked into a store at 4400 Chippewa. He demanded money from the owners--who were brothers. One of the men pulled out a baseball bat. That is when the suspect produced a gun and shot the two men.

19-year-old Haris Gogic was shot in the head and died later Friday afternoon. His brother was shot in the arm and is in stable condition.

The suspect is on the loosed. He is described as a black male, dark complexion, slim build, approximately 6 feet tall, late 20's - early 30's, having a mustache and goatee . He was wearing a grey shirt, grey pants and grey baseball cap.

 

 

Published in Local News

Still no suspects after a 14-year-old was shot outside a North County home last night.

Police say they were called to a home near Lilac and 270 around 10:30 last night. There was a large party taking place at the house. Witnesses said the teen was shot outside the house, but there was no information on who the shooter was.

Police also say they do not know the motive for the attack. The victim is expected to survive.

 

Published in Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A jury has found a 34-year-old man guilty of first-degree murder in the beating deaths of five of his ex-wife's relatives in central Illinois.

The verdict in the trial of Christopher Harris was announced Friday.

In sometimes tearful testimony, Harris admitted to killing 14-year-old Dillen Constant. But Harris said he did so only after the teenager bashed the rest of his family to death at their home in Beason in September 2009.

Harris was also accused in the deaths of Dillen's mother, Ruth Gee; his stepfather, Rick Gee; his 16-year-old sister, Justina Constant; and 11-year-old stepbrother Austin Gee.

Harris' brother, Jason Harris, testified that Christopher Harris told him he killed all five victims after a night of drinking and drug use.

 

Published in Local News

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon teen accused of planning an assault on his high school wrote detailed plans to "shoot and throw bombs throughout the school."

Court documents released Tuesday include an excerpt of the plans police say they found after receiving a tip that 17-year-old Grant Acord planned to attack his high school in Albany. The writings were found along with two pipe bombs, two Molotov cocktails and at least two Drano bombs in a secret compartment beneath the floor in Acord's bedroom.

According to the documents, Acord wrote of plans to begin his assault by lighting and throwing a napalm bomb, unzipping his bag and shooting.

Acord appeared in court Tuesday and did not enter a plea.  A judge set bail at $2 million.

Published in National News

A fake UPS driver is in custody after allegedly tying up and robbing an Ellisville woman a month ago.

Tyson McGuire faces several felony charges including theft and kidnapping. Police say on April 27 McGuire posed as the delivery driver and after the victim opened the door, he barged into her house and taped her to the stove. That is when McGuire allegedly stole several items from her home.

St. Louis City Police learned where McGuire was staying and shared that with Ellisville Police who arrested him.

 

Published in Local News

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A Las Vegas man is accused in Illinois of a timeshare scam that federal prosecutors say bilked $10 million from more than 3,000 victims across the United States, Canada and other countries.

A grand jury in East St. Louis has indicted 37-year-old Michael Patrick Sullivan on conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud charges. The fraud allegedly took place from December 2006 to January 2012.

The indictment alleges that Sullivan's Vacation Max telemarketing company falsely represented it found corporate buyers interested in acquiring blocks of timeshare units.

The company solicited fees of up to several thousand dollars from each timeshare owner in purported pre-paid closing costs and related expenses, but no sales actually occurred.

Online court records don't show whether he has an attorney.

Published in Local News

Reports of a disturbing case of sexual assault coming from Belleville.

A 45-year-old man is in custody after allegedly raping a 2-year-old girl. Officers say there was a witness present for the assault. The suspect in the case is a relative of the child. The toddler has been taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The case is now in the hands of the State's Attorney.

 

Published in Local News

Police are asking for help to find the suspects who robbed a Cahokia gas station overnight.

The Midwest Petroleum convenience store was robbed around 2:30 AM. Three suspects smashed the front windows of the store. The suspects drove off in a blue Chevy truck with an American flag rear window cover. Police say there is damage to the right rear corner of the truck.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Cahokia Police department at (618)337-9505.

Published in Local News

A suspect is in custody after allegedly shooting into a South St. Louis home.

Police were on the scene when they saw the suspect fire several shots into a home near the intersection of Nebraska and Cherokee. Officers chased the man and caught him just a few blocks away.

No one was injured in the home and it is not known why he shot at the house.

Published in Local News

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