Courts Police and Fire

Shonkwiler memorial still being researched

A plaque and a gazebo could both be part of an outdoor memorial to honor former Piatt County judge John Shonkwiler, who died in 2012 after serving 47 years on the bench.


Family statement after inquest decision

Reaction to the inquest verdictRenee Fehr, sister of the late Sheryl Houser, read the following statement to the press after a coroner’s inquest jury on July 8 declared Houser’s death a homicide.


Jury: 1990 death was a homocide

Twenty-six years after Sheryl Houser was found dead with a rope around her neck in her rural Mahomet garage, a Piatt County coroner’s jury has ruled her case a homicide. The ruling came after three hours of testimony Friday morning, which included a forensic pathologist’s opinion that Houser’s death looked more like a homicide than a suicide.


Gale pleads guilty, sentencing announced

A former Champaign police officer who pleaded guilty to committing an unwanted sex act with a former girlfriend in Piatt County has been sentenced to probation and jail time but will have to register for life as a sex offender.


Piatt County courtroom hosts mock trial

It was an unusual case of strife that prosecutors said led a man to unleash a deadly assault through a dog that he had recently purchased.


Police still searching for Pendleton

On May 7, 2016 at approximately 10:45 p.m., a Mahomet Police Officer was involved in a shooting with Dracy “Clint” Pendleton, 35. The Officer and Pendleton exchanged gunfire and Pendleton fled the scene.


Gale trial underway soon

By Mary Schenk

A Champaign police officer charged with sex crimes in three cases in two counties told a judge he did not want a jury trial in one of his cases, which was set to start this week.


Drug Take Back April 30

On Saturday, April 30th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. the Monticello Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public the opportunity to get rid of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs at a Drug Take Back event. People can bring pills for disposal to the Monticello Police Department at 301 N.


Gale trial moved to Decatur

A Champaign psychiatrist will testify about why rape victims often do not promptly report what happened to them in the trial next month of a Champaign police officer accused of sexually assaulting a former girlfriend.


Police bust suspected cannabis growing facility

A tip from a citizen led to the discovery of an indoor cannabis growing operation in what was thought to be a vacant home in Monticello. When Piatt County Sheriff’s officials executed a search warrant Wednesday evening (April 13), they reportedly found an elaborate operation that featured plants at various stages of growth, along with already-dried product.


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