Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

July 9, 2014

Vandalia man pleads not guilty to drug-induced homicide in Kull death

EFFINGHAM — Now that probable cause has been found to try a Vandalia man on charges of drug-induced homicide in connection with the January overdose death of an Altamont man, Effingham County prosecutors say more charges may be forthcoming.

During a preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon in Effingham County Circuit Court, Richard B. Marschke's ex-wife testified that he told her Jordan J. Kull was a "snitch" and that he had been "greenlighted" to murder him to an effort to protect his heroin distribution operation.

Jessica Bernahl, 32, who testified that she was married to Marschke, 32, from February to May of this year, said Marschke told her during a June 23 conversation that Kull died because Marschke no longer trusted him to keep his mouth shut about his criminal activities.

Quoting Marschke during the taped conversation at the Interstate 70 rest area between Effingham and Altamont, Bernahl said her ex-husband told her Kull "was a snitch. He had to go (die)."

Judge Kimberly Koester found probable cause to try Marschke on the charge of drug-induced homicide filed last week. State's Attorney Bryan Kibler said after Wednesday's hearing that additional charges are "being considered."

"We still haven't received all the evidence," Kibler said. "There is an ongoing investigation to determine whether further charges are warranted."

Marschke pleaded not guilty to the drug-induced homicide charge. Kull died Jan. 14 at Bernahl's Altamont home.

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