Ashland, Illinois Although the trial of Shirley Skinner has been postponed a while, accusations are amping up to a fevered pitch. I’ve never been a fan of using one crime as a platform for political advancement or deterrent, but the residents of Cass County better start asking some tough questions and demanding some form of accountability from those who are sworn to protect and serve. While nothing can bring Steven Watkins back to his family, perhaps justice for him will encompass vast changes in department procedure and oversight. Or perhaps the residents of that small county can continue supporting yahoos who appear to not know their ass from a hole in the ground. (more…)
Original story found here.
Cass County, Illinois Well, Shirley Skinner may have awakened Wednesday thinking she had a chance of Santa Claus not crossing her name completely off his list. What she may have not realized, Santa is a pretty clever and resourceful man. As she was sitting patiently in court waiting to hear if her bond had been decreased from $5 million to something more affordable, the naughty file attached to Shirley was opened a bit wider. Any chance of grandma spending the holidays at home with her family by bail reduction became as likely as the chance for Steven, the guy she allegedly shot to death, has in spending it with his two small children. (more…)
Ashland, IL I’m not quite sure how I feel about the two latest stories I’ve featured being in close proximity to where I was raised. It really was a neat place to grow up…safe. And I suppose, to some extent, it still is a great environment to start and rear a family. That is: if you’re not needing police protection from the Rushville or Ashland Police Departments. Yesterday’s feature story was the tale of Ryan Jones, a 22-year-old who lost his life in a “vehicular accident” and the police allegedly lied about the entire scene. Today’s feature is focusing on the one-year-old murder of Steven Watkins in Ashland, Illinois – where it took a year to make an arrest when there were three adults in that home. I’m not sure if Chief Birdsell thought it was a prime opportunity to conduct a holiday home tour or what was bouncing around that noggin of his – nonetheless, he allowed contamination by not securing the crime scene as there were many in and out of that house. Oh, that and not conducting a gun shot residue test…not calling the Cass County Coroner…the list is vast. After completing the story on Rushville’s PD, I really thought they would win the competition for biggest fuck up. I made that decision in haste. (more…)