April trial nears for man charged with murder

By Sharon Wittke

A Carbondale man charged with three counts of murder in September will be tried in April.

Matthew Jones, 18, of Carbondale was charged in September in connection with the shooting death of 20-year-old Deaunta Spencer in the 400 block of North Brush Street.

Another individual involved in the case, Jewlious Causey, 19, of Carbondale, was sentenced Jan. 25 to six years in prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a report Thursday in the Carbondale Times.


Causey was not involved in the shooting, but he was in possession of the stolen handgun used in the shooting, which he sold to Jones, according to testimony given at an October 2011 hearing.

The gun used in the shooting death of Spencer on Sept. 14 was stolen from Carbondale Police Chief Jody O’Guinn in June 2011, according to a Sept. 21, 2011 Daily Egyptian article.

In an incident report filed June 20, 2011, O’Guinn stated that his silver-colored Colt .380 semiautomatic handgun had been stolen from his personal vehicle.

The report was initially filed incorrectly as an animal control case. The data entry error later caused suspicion that a cover-up was involved in reporting the missing weapon.

In response, the city launched an internal investigation into the police department’s reporting procedures and concluded in October 2011 no attempt had been made to cover up the gun theft.

State’s Attorney Mike Wepsiec announced in September the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department would take over the investigation of the missing gun from the Carbondale Police Department, according to a Sept. 22, 2011 Daily Egyptian article.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department has not announced any results from its investigation.