OQUAWKA, Ill. — A 41-year-old man investigators said Monday shot and killed an 87-year-old Carman, Illinois, man in October was free on a $10,000 bond awaiting trial in connection with a methamphetamine bust earlier this year in Henderson County.
Donnie Blakley, of Oquawka, is one of three people accused of first-degree murder in the killing Oct. 6 of Rex Mynatt Sr. at the elderly man's rural residence in Carman, about nine miles east of Burlington on a paved road in Henderson County.
At the time of Mynatt's murder, Blakley was free on a $10,000 bond awaiting trial on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was originally set at $100,000 on the drug charges, but was reduced to $10,000 following a hearing last February in Henderson County Circuit Court.
Blakley, along with Austin T. Adolph, 31, of Gladstone, Illinois, and Brianna B. Sullivan, 32, of Oquawka, were arrested on numerous felony and misdemeanor drug charges following a lengthy investigation into widespread drug trafficking by several state and local agencies, including the Illinois State Police, West Central Illinois Task Force, Henderson County Sheriff’s Department and Oquawka Police Department.
State drugs charges against Adolph and Sullivan have been dismissed in Henderson County to allow federal prosecutors to indict them in U.S. District Court.
However, Blakley's case remained in Henderson County instead of being transferred to federal court. He has a pretrial conference set on the drug charges Dec. 27 before Circuit Court Judge Raymond Cavanaugh.
The arrests of three people on the drug charges were the result of search warrants executed at two homes in Oquawka and Gladstone in late January.
Several ounces of methamphetamine, a kilo of powder cocaine and a revolver were confiscated during the searches, a spokesman for the Illinois State Patrol said at the time of their arrests in January.
Authorities said Tuesday it did not appear the January drug bust and the killing of Mynatt were related.
Blakley and two others, Angel Logsdon, 39, of Oquawka, and Amy Hoffman, 38, of Gladstone, were charged in Henderson County Circuit Court with various counts of first-degree murder filed under several different legal theories.
All three are to appear 9 a.m. today in Henderson County Circuit Court for arraignment on the first-degree murder charges.
Blakley is being held on a $1 million bond. Logsdon and Hoffman are each being held on $750,000 bond.
They were given court-appointed attorneys during their first appearance Monday in Henderson County Circuit Court. Blakley is being represented by Sherry Lawson-Weaver, Logsdon's attorney is Bill Rasmussen and Hoffman is being represented by Blaze Rogers.
In a related matter, Michael Schramm Jr., 42, of Stronghurst, Illinois, is being held in the Henderson County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond awaiting trial on forgery charges. He was not named in any charges related to Mynatt’s murder during Monday's hearing for the three others.
However, court documents filed recently in Henderson County Circuit Court indicate he was charged with two counts of forgery for allegedly writing two checks worth $4,000 on Mynatt’s checking account at the Bank of Stronghurst a few days before the killing.
Like Blakley, Schramm was free on bond at the time of the alleged forgeries and Mynatt's death. Schramm is being held in Henderson County on the forgery charges. Drug and weapons charges against Schramm in Des Moines County are on hold until his legal problems in Illinois are resolved, authorities said.
According to the indictment handed up by a Henderson County grand jury last Friday after hearing evidence presented by prosecutors behind closed doors, Blakley shot Mynatt in the chest with a .22 caliber rifle at Mynatt’s residence.
Mynatt, who lived alone, was found dead by his daughter about 12:20 p.m. Oct. 8. She went to check on him after he missed church earlier that morning. Police believe he was killed "on or about Oct. 6," but his body was not discovered until two days later.
State's Attorney Colby Hathaway has not released a motive for Mynatt’s killing.
If convicted of the murder charges, Blakley faces 25-years-to-life in prison. The women face 20 to 60 years in prison if convicted.
The women are charged with assisting Blakley in the killing of Mynatt. The indictment did not say if the women were with Blakely at Mynatt’s residence when the killing occurred. However, they have been charged with first-degree murder for their involvement in the killing.
Blakley and Logsdon are being held in the Mercer County Jail. Hoffman and Schramm are being held in the Henderson County Jail.
Mynatt's death was the first homicide in Henderson County in 17 years.