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Formal Charges Filed in Illinois Double Murder of Couple

Posted on in Assault & Battery

A sex crime charge has been added to the case against a Centerville, Ill., man accused killing Southern Illinois couple a few weeks ago.

Formal charges against Danny K. Coston, 36, now include a felony charge of aggravated criminal sexual assault while armed with a firearm.

The body of Jessi Evans, 17 of Norris City, Ill., was found on the evening of Aug. 27. The body of her boyfriend, Jacob Wheeler, 22 of Centerville, was found the next Friday night.

In addition to the sexual assault charge, White County State’s Attorney T. Scott Webb has charged Coston with murder, aggravated battery through the discharge of a firearm and concealing a homicide.

Evans’ body was found in the bed of her boyfriend’s pickup truck that had been driven down a steep embankment northeast of Centerville, not far from the Little Wabash River. She had been shot three times in the head, said White County Coroner Carl McVey.

Wheeler’s body was found in a remote area of southeastern Wayne County. The body had been dumped down a ravine. Wayne County Coroner Jimmy Taylor said he had been shot once in the head.

Coston made his first appearance in White County Circuit Court at Carmi last Tuesday morning, when a judge read the charges and possible penalties for each charge. He was returned to the White County Jail where he is being held under $3 million bond pending a preliminary hearing before Judge Thomas Sutton on Sept. 12.

Wheeler and Evans were reported missing Aug. 26 after Evans failed to show up for work at 5 a.m. that day. The two had gone camping at a remote site northeast of Centerville, Ill. Evans’ body was found about a mile south of the campsite. Wheeler’s body was found approximately 10 miles to the north, near the Wayne-Edwards County line in Leech Township.

If you find yourself in a criminal situation you will need all the help you can get. Do not hesitate to get qualified legal help as soon as possible. Contact an experienced Cook County criminal defense attorney today to determine the best course of action for dealing with your criminal charges.

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