The man police say led them on a chase through Effingham and Shelby counties in July before killing a woman and her unborn child in Shelbyville appeared in court on Monday with his lawyer, who said delays in the case are likely.
Deven A. Barger, 25, is charged with two counts of murder.
Public Defender Brad Rau requested that Barger, who is being held by the Illinois Department of Corrections, not have to appear in Shelby County Circuit Court every 30 days. He said appearances every 60 days is sufficient because of the expected delays in the case.
“I have met with Mr. Barger extensively over the discovery we have received, which is substantial,” Rau said. “We are waiting for more full reports from the Illinois State Police and they are equally mystified as to why we have not received them yet. We expect that they will be substantial and will take time to go over them.”
Judge Amanda Ade-Harlow consulted the court schedule and set the date for Barger’s next appearance on March 4 at 10 a.m.
Shelby County State’s Attorney Gina Vonderheide requested the additional time be charged to the defendant to which Ade-Harlow agreed. Ade-Harlow asked if Barger understood.
“Yes, ma’am,” Barger replied.
“Are you agreeable with that?” Harlow asked.
“”Yes,” Barger replied.
Barger is charged with the intentional murder of Samantha Cushing, 22, and the intentional homicide of an unborn child. Cushing was six months pregnant at the time of her death.
It is alleged in court records that Cushing died from a close-range shot to the face with a modified 16-gauge shotgun on July 8. Her body was found in the bedroom floor of the house at 112 N. Will St. in Shelbyville. The weapon was recovered from the scene.
Barger and Cushing have a 3-year-old daughter. She allegedly was present during the incident. It is alleged that Barger, whose residence for parole was at his mother’s residence in Watson, in Effingham County, told his mother that he shot Cushing. He allegedly told investigators that it was an accident.
Barger was arrested after a high-speed chase through three counties with the 3-year-old in the vehicle. Barger surrendered to police without incident in Christian County after a chase through Effingham and Shelby counties, officials said.
Barger was on parole for aggravated assault against a police officer, felony possession of a weapon, and aggravated fleeing from police, when he allegedly shot Cushing in July.
Barger remains in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections. No trial date has been set.