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News Headlines – May 15, 2018

Last Updated on May 15th, 2018

Written by Paul Bomleny

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to bring back the death penalty in the state. Police in Washington state say DNA linked a central Illinois man to a 1986 murder there. A fallen Rockford police officer now has a place of honor in the nation’s capital. A southern Illinois man is taking a plea deal to avoid a murder charge in the death of a local police officer.

>>Governor Rauner Wants Illinois To Reinstate Death Penalty

(Chicago, IL) — Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he wants prosecutors in the state to once again have the option to ask for the death penalty. The governor yesterday proposed a return to executions as part of his gun control package. Rauner says only those who kill cops or two or more people would be eligible for the death penalty. But it’s unlikely to happen. The governor made the proposal as part of an amendatory veto and lawmakers in Springfield rarely, if ever, agree with those kind of changes.

>>DNA Linked Central Illinois Man To 1986 Washington Murder

(Tacoma, WA) — Police in Washington state say DNA was the key in solving a decades-old murder there. Tacoma Police Chief Donald Ramsdell yesterday said officers took a DNA sample from Robert Washburn in March of last year. Earlier this month, that sample came back with a link to 13-year-old Jennifer Bastian’s death back in 1986. Tacoma Police, the Illinois State Police and the Woodford County Sheriff’s Office arrested Washburn last week. He’s still in jail in central Illinois, though prosecutors in Washington say they expect to have him in a courtroom there in a week or so.

>>Fallen Rockford Officer Remembered At National Police Memorial

(Washington, DC) — A fallen Rockford police officer has a place of honor in the nation’s capital. Officer Jaimie Cox’s name was added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC on Sunday. Cox died in a traffic stop gone wrong late last year. Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea says his focus now is to help Cox’s widow and to let her know that the department will always be there for her.

>>Plea Spares Southern Illinois Man Murder Charges In Officer’s Death

(Chester, IL) — A southern Illinois man is avoiding murder charges for the death of a Chester police officer. Jason Stoker pleaded guilty yesterday, just as his trial was set to start, to lesser charges in Chester Officer James Brockmeyer’s death. Stoker pleaded guilty to reckless homicide charges. Police say Officer Brockmeyer was chasing Stoker in October of 2016 when he lost control of his squad car and crashed. Brockmeyer’s family yesterday said it is relieved that the case against Stoker is over.

>>Severed Fiber Cable Responsible For Henry County Outages

(Aledo, IL) — Henry County’s sheriff says it was a severed fiber cable that knocked out 911 service, phone, cable and the internet. Sheriff Kerry Loncka’s office yesterday said someone cut the Mediacom fiber cable and left folks in Cambridge, Andover, Osco, Galva, Altona, Wataga, Henderson, Alexis, Viola, Sherrard, Matherville, Reynolds, Aledo and Boden without service. The sheriff isn’t saying who cut the cable or where it was cut.