Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

October 4, 2012

Assault trial delayed

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM —     Proceedings in Effingham County Circuit Court for one of three men charged in connection with the beating of a black man were delayed Wednesday.

    Judge Ericka Sanders granted a motion by defense attorney Bryan Kibler to delay the trial for Justin R. Antrim until December.

    Antrim, 36, is one of three defendants in the March 4 beating of Trenton Smith in and outside Tip’s Corner Tavern in Altamont. Co-defendant William J. Coleman, 37, of Watson, has already accepted a prison term in exchange for a guilty plea. Proceedings are still pending against the third defendant, Kevin L. Gasper, 41, of Effingham.

    Both Antrim and Gasper remain free on bond.

    The men were charged with aggravated battery, mob action and a hate crime in connection with the beating. All three defendants are white while Smith is black.

    Kibler said Wednesday that he was unavailable to try the case in either October or November. Sanders set jury selection for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 3. A final pretrial was set for 11 a.m. Nov. 19.

    Effingham County State’s Attorney Ed Deters did not object to the motion.

    Ironically, Kibler is one of two candidates to succeed Deters as state’s attorney in the Nov. 6 general election. If he wins, he would have been sworn in by the time of scheduled jury selection in the Antrim case.

    That issue was not brought up in court Wednesday.