SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Randolph County coroner has ruled another inmate death as a homicide at the Menard maximum-security prison in Chester in far southern Illinois.
Coroner Randy Dudenbostel says 35-year-old William Crowder died March 26 from "manual strangulation." The coroner classified the death as a homicide.
State's Attorney Jeremy Walker intends to file first-degree murder charges against a Menard inmate when he receives investigative reports.
He would not name the inmate but says the man is not due for release until 2013.
Crowder was found dead in his cell in the prison's segregation unit at 10:36 p.m. Crowder's was the third homicide since Jan. 31.
Walker previously filed murder charges against former Menard inmates for the deaths of 25-year-old Jason Hall and 64-year-old Yusuf Abuzir.
Police are still looking for two men who shot and killed a Jennings man Friday night.
Police say 38 year old Anthony Sherill had been unloading groceries from his vehicle about 8 p.m. when the two men approached. Sherrill ran inside his home in the 5400 block of Hamilton, but the men followed. Police say the suspects shot Sherill in the chest inside his home and then fled.
Sherill was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police haven't released a possible motive for the murder.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A man convicted of killing a sports editor in Columbia in 2001 is asking Gov. Jay Nixon for a pardon.
Ryan Ferguson is serving a 40-year prison sentence for murder and robbery in the November 2001 death of Kent Heitholt, a sports editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune.
Ferguson has always maintained his innocence and is also seeking a new trial. Co-defendant Charles Erickson is serving a 25-year prison sentence.
Ferguson's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, says her client is innocent and she is gathering new evidence against another possible suspect.
Nixon's spokesman, Scott Holste, says the governor has never granted a criminal pardon.
The Daily Tribune reports Missouri's Board of Probation and Parole will investigate the case and submit a report to Nixon.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is ordering flags to be flown at half-staff at state buildings in Boone County and at corrections facilities across the state in honor of the slain Colorado prison director.
Tom Clements, 58, was a Missouri corrections official for over three decades before taking the top prisons job in Colorado. He was shot and killed at his Colorado home March 19.
He oversaw Missouri's 21 adult correctional facilities before he left to take the top Colorado job in 2011.
While working for the Missouri prison system, Clements lived in Columbia. State of Missouri and U.S. flags will fly at half-staff on Friday until sunset. A 4 p.m. memorial service is scheduled for Friday at Woodcrest Chapel in Columbia.
Police have released a person of interest in the case of a woman found dead in south St. Louis Sunday morning.
Police found 47-year-old Aretha Robinson in the alley behind the 2200 block of South Jefferson. The coroner determined Robinson was strangled. Officers picked up a person of interest, but have released the person without filing charges.
The judge sentences Akins to consecutive life sentences for the murders. The death penalty was taken off the table after Akins agreed to waive a jury trial. Akins' brother Anthony goes to trial in July for allegedly helping his brother in the robbery and murders.
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.
Elijah Pickett was sentenced Friday for killing 28-year-old Brian Ulmer during a robbery attempt at Ulmer's home. He was convicted in January of second-degree murder and several other charges.
Prosecutors say Pickett shot Ulmer three times at point-blank range.
The St. Joseph News-Press reports Pickett said he planned to appeal because he was unhappy with the effort of his attorney.
Two other defendants, Kasey Hall and Xavier Johnson, were each sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. A fourth defendant was found not guilty. A fifth defendant is in federal prison and no date has been set for his trial.
The Southeast Missourian reports that 22-year-old Kenneth Bell of Cape Girardeau entered the plea at a hearing Monday.
Bell is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Shannon James and Misty Cole. Both were shot to death Feb. 7 inside their apartment.
The next court appearance for Bell is April 18.
Witnesses told police that a confrontation began when James bumped into Bell on a sidewalk. Moments later, James and Cole were shot several times.
Police in Carlinville say that Joshua Ramza died of opium intoxication, but the person who supplied him the drug is liable for his death.
Police say the case is now a homicide and they ask anyone with information to contact them at carlinvillepolice.com.