A Henry County judge has found probable cause to hold three Colona residents charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of another Colona resident.
During Monday's preliminary hearing, James L. Kelley, 41; his sister, Brandy L. Kelley, 32; and her boyfriend, Joshua T. Martin, 31, all of Colona, sat before Judge Larry Vandersnick in orange jail clothes.
All three are charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of home invasion, unlawful restraint and criminal trespass to residence in the death of Shane M. McFalls, 39.
Colona police Sgt. Suzanne Bogart testified Monday that Mr. McFalls was found dead in a bed in his home Sunday morning, Feb. 3, with blood in his nostrils and on his lip, and a bucket of what appeared to be vomit next to his bed.
She testified that an autopsy indicated Mr. McFalls died from a subdural hematoma, a result of blunt force trauma to the head.
The events leading to Mr. McFalls' death started Friday, Feb. 1, Sgt. Bogart said. Mr. McFalls and his girlfriend, Teresa Lacy, were at the American Legion in Colona and allegedly got in an argument, then left the legion after 10 p.m.
On the way home, Mr. McFalls allegedly hit Ms. Lacy with her purse, his hand or both. Ms. Lacy went back to the legion later that night and told the Kelleys and Mr. Martin about the incident, according to testimony.
Sgt. Bogart said Ms. Lacy told her she begged the three not to go to the house because of Mr. McFalls' temper. A fourth person, Don Vanderheyden, also went to the house with the Kelleys and Mr. Martin, allegedly to help calm things down, according to testimony.
Sgt. Bogart said Mr. Vanderheyden told her they approached Mr. McFalls' house, yelling and beating on the door. When Mr. McFalls opened the door, Mr. Kelley and Mr. Martin allegedly tackled him, breaking a table inside the home.
Mr. Kelley and Mr. Martin then stood behind Mr. McFalls and held him to the ground on his knees, and Ms. Kelley allegedly walked around and kicked Mr. McFalls in the side of the face, Sgt. Bogart testified.
Sgt. Bogart said Mr. Vanderheyden told her he yelled at the three to stop, and then all of them allegedly sat down and talked. At some point, a phone call was made to the legion where Ms. Lacy was.
Sgt. Bogart said Ms. Lacy allegedly verified she was hit with a purse and not with Mr. McFalls' hand. Some time during the conversation, Mr. McFalls allegedly got up and shoved Mr. Vanderheyden, who then shoved Mr. McFalls down onto a piece of furniture and told him to stay calm.
According to Sgt. Bogart, the four reportedly then went back to the legion. Sgt. Bogart said Ms. Lacy told her that Mr. Kelley said they shoved Mr. McFalls around a little and talked to him about hitting Ms. Lacy.
Sgt. Bogart testified that Ms. Lacy said she arrived home between 3 and 4 a.m. Saturday morning, Feb. 2, and Mr. McFalls was in the master bedroom. He then moved to the back bedroom and shut the door.
She said Ms. Lacy did not think Mr. McFalls ever left the house.
Henry County Public Defender Eugene Stockton asked Sgt. Bogart if any locks on the house were broken. She said no.
Mr. Stockton asked why Ms. Lacy never checked on Mr. McFalls until Sunday morning, when she found him dead.
"She stated she was afraid to check on him," Sgt. Bogart testified.
Outside the courtroom, the Kelleys' sister, Crystal, said during a television interview that more information needs to come out. "I'm fighting. I'll do whatever I can to help them. We're a good family. We're human. I just know they're loving people."
The three suspects remain in Henry County Jail on $500,000 bail. Home invasion is a Class X felony punishable by a mandatory 6 to 30 years in prison. Involuntary manslaughter is a Class III felony punishable by two to five years in prison.
Mr. McFalls was a convicted sex offender, but Colona Police Chief Tim Krebs has said it had nothing to do with the alleged crime.
A pre-trial hearing for the three is scheduled on March 13. ..more.. by
3 Charged in ''retribution beating'' of registered sex offender
Colona, QUAD CITIES -- Three people are behind bars in Henry County, charged with involuntary manslaughter, accused of beating a registered sex offender as revenge for domestic violence against his girlfriend.
Police say it started Friday night, when 39-year old Shane McFalls and his girlfriend got into a fight at the American Legion in Colona.
''One wanted to go home, the other one didn't, and they ended up getting into a physical confrontation'', said Colona Police Chief Tim Krebs.
The girlfriend returned to the Legion a short time later, battered and crying, and told her friends that McFalls had beaten her up. Police say her friends then took matters into thier own hands.
Investigators say Joshua Martin, James Kelly, and his sister, Brandy Kelly went to McFalls' house to even the score.
''What we're looking at in this case, is more of a retribution type thing, domestic battery that occured between the two parties, and friends wanting to get even'', Krebs said.
Court documents say the trio went to McFall's house, and beat him, tackled him, held him down and kicked him in the head.
McFalls, a registered sex offender who spent time in prison for molesting a 7-year old girl, was found dead, by the girlfriend, who had returned to the house the next day.
Illinois State Police and the Henry County Sheriff's Department helped with the investigation. It's the first homicide in Colona in 15 years.
Both Kelly's and Martin are being held in the Henry County Jail. ..more.. by CHRIS MINOR
Three acquitted of manslaughter
Three people were acquitted of involuntary manslaughter Thursday for the death of Shane M. McFalls of Colona, Ill., in February.
A Henry County jury found James L. Kelley, 41, and Brandi L. Kelley, 32, who are siblings, and Brandi Kelley’s boyfriend, Joshua T. Martin, 32, all not guilty on two counts of involuntary manslaughter and home invasion.
The three were each found guilty on other felony charges, including a second home invasion count, unlawful restraint and criminal trespass to a residence.
McFalls, 39, was found dead at 1019 7th St., Colona, on Feb. 3. Colona police said McFalls died from a head injury.
The suspects were all friends with McFalls and his girlfriend. The homicide was the result of a domestic disturbance that began at the American Legion in Colona, police said.
The suspects went to the residence later that night and attacked McFalls, according to police. According to the charges, McFalls was tackled and struck his head on the fall. He also allegedly was kicked in the head.
Police said the suspects left without intending to kill McFalls, but he later died from his injuries.
Of the charges home invasion carried the lengthiest sentence with up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
The three will be sentenced Nov. 18. ..Source.. by Dustin Lemmon