Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

April 21, 2014

Grand jury indicts Miller on new charge

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — An Effingham County grand jury indicted an Altamont man last week on drug-induced homicide charges stemming from the heroin overdose death of an Effingham woman earlier this year.

The grand jury indicted Jay C. Miller, 23, on one count of drug-induced homicide in connection with the February overdose death of Jessica James, 29. Miller could receive up to 30 years in prison for supplying James with the dose of heroin that caused her death.

But the grand jury used its discretion to deny a request from State's Attorney Bryan Kibler to impose a mandatory prison sentence of 15 years on Miller due to the weight of the drugs involved.  Instead, the grand jury indicted Miller on the new charge on the condition that he would be eligible for a minimum sentence of six years.

"It's still nonprobationable," Kibler said, adding the jury thought a 15-year minimum was "harsh" for the charge. "It's just now whether it's a mandatory minimum of six or a mandatory minimum of 15."

Miller faces a pre-trial hearing at 10 a.m. Wednesday, with jury selection still set for 8:30 a.m. May 5. The latter date is not likely to stick, however, because of the new charge being filed.

Miller was already in jail in lieu of $50,000 bond on an earlier charge of possession of a controlled substance.

The grand jury also indicted four people arrested on methamphetamine charges in Shumway earlier this month.

Cody L. Laue, 20, of Beecher City, Tara L. Devoe, 18, of Shumway, Stacey M. Beccue, 38, of Altamont, and Nathaniel S. Sparks, 23, of Beecher City, were all arraigned on felony methamphetamine charges after material was seized from a Shumway residence.

Laue was indicted this week on charges of participation in methamphetamine manufacturing and aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacturing, Class X felonies Devoe faces an indictment for participation in methamphetamine manufacturing, also a Class X felony.

Beccue and Sparks were indicted on charges of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony.

All four are each being held on $200,000 bond. Sparks is set for arraignment at 10 a.m. today, while Laue is set for an arraignment at 10:30 a.m. Thursday and Beccue at 10:30 a.m. May 7. Devoe's case is set for a status hearing at 10 a.m. today.

The grand jury also indicted:

• Malcolm M. Morris, 50, of Effingham, for failure to report a change of address as a registered sex offender, a Class 3 felony and failure to report change of employment as a registered sex offender, Class 2 felony. Morris has been ordered to appear in court at 11 a.m. today. He remains in jail in lieu of $30,000 bond.

• Scott T. Dundee, 24, of Charleston, for aggravated driving while under the influence of alcohol while his driver's license was revoked, a Class 4 felony. Dundee is set for a motion to reduce bond at 10:30 a.m. today. He remains in jail in lieu of $15,000 bond.

• Sharon J. Finn, 52, of Newton for possession of a controlled substance containing alprazolam, a Class 4 felony. Finn has been ordered to appear in court at 9 a.m. May 8. She is free on $1,000 bail.

• Nathaniel L. Gebauer, 39, of Bellevue, Ohio, for operating a commercial vehicle with a measured amount of substance of drugs in his system, a Class 4 felony and aggravated driving while under the influence of drugs, a Class 2 felony. Gebauer was arrested on Sept. 16, 2013, while driving a 2002 Freightliner truck-tractor on Interstate 57 at milepost 143. Gebauer has been ordered to appear in court at 9 a.m. today. He is free on $2,000 bail.

• Aaron K. Abendroth, 27, of Altamont, possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony. Abendroth has been ordered to appear in court at 9 a.m. May 6. He is free on $1,500 bail.

• Thomas D. Bishop, 41, of Chicago for two counts of driving while license suspended, a Class 4 felony. Bishop appeared in court April 17. No new court date has been set.

• Steven A. Mays, 41, of Ashland, Ky., for possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony. Mays faces a preliminary hearing at 11 a.m. Thursday. He remains in jail in lieu of $20,000 bond.

• Timothy A. Bradley, 30, of Effingham for driving while license revoked, a Class 4 felony. Bradley is accused of having three citations for driving under the influence of alcohol or similar charges after his arrest on March 10. He has been ordered to appear in court at 9 a.m. May 14. He is free on $150 bail.

• Staci A. Bierman, 27, of Effingham, for two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony. Bierman was arrested for possession of a substance containing heroin and possession of clonazepam on March 18. Pre-trial has been set for 10 a.m. June 11, with jury selection set for 8:30 a.m. July 7. She remains in jail in lieu of $5,000 bond.

• Jody E. Tindle, 54, of Murphysboro, for driving while license revoked, a Class 4 felony. Tindle has been ordered to appear in court at 9 a.m. May 5 and is free on $300 bail.

• Bradley R. Loy, 31, of Effingham was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony. Loy is accused of possessing lorazepam and clonazepam. Pre-trial is set for 10 a.m. May 1. Loy is free on $1,500 bail.

• Jamie L. Kane, 27, of Effingham was charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony; and two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance for possession of a substance containing heroin and clonazepam, both of which are Class 4 felonies. Pre-trial is set for 10 a.m. June 17, with jury selection set for 8:30 a.m. July 7. Kane remains in jail in lieu of $5,000 bond.

• Justin Nelson, 28, of Effingham, was charged of two counts of possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony. Nelson is accused of possessing heroin and clonazepam on March 18. He has been ordered to appear in court at 11 a.m. May 7. He remains in jail in lieu of $35,000 bond.