Jury pretrials held for Carbondale, Murphysboro men

By Gus Bode

Different cases involve charges of armed robbery and murder

After an 18-month investigation into the shooting death of an SIUC student, one suspect is still at large and the other’s jury pretrial was pushed back on Thursday.

Jackson County State’s Attorney Mike Wepsiec asked Judge E. Dan Kimmel for a four-month extension on the pretrial of Maurice Carter, 21, of Tamms. However, the judge only gave Wepsiec until Nov. 14 because Carter did not waive the right to a speedy trial. Carter also maintains a plea of not guilty.


Carter faces an armed-robbery charge in the shooting death of Marcus Thomas, 21, a former SIUC psychology student.

In August, Carbondale Police Chief R.T. Finney said four men participated in planning to rob Thomas of drugs and money on March 17, 2001. Police called the deal a “drug rip-off gone bad” after Thomas was shot in his home at 300 E. College St. and died of blood loss after running from his attackers through the housing projects on South Marion Street.

Wepsiec said Thursday that he thought four months would be enough time for the prosecution and defense to negotiate, but he now has less than a month to gather all the facts and evidence needed to go to trial.

Police are still looking for the other suspect in the shooting. Terron Price, 22, of Tamms, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and armed robbery. Carter remains at Jackson County Jail, and his bond is set at $15,000.

Reporter Brian Peach can be reached at [email protected]

A Murphysboro man charged with four counts of first-degree murder will go to trial in January, a judge decided Thursday.

Daron Woods, 26, of Murphysboro is also charged with one count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon in the death of Kenji Tipton, 23.


The murder occurred May 31 near Bridgewood Housing Development in Murphysboro, and there is a possibility that this murder may be related to the Dec. 26 murder of 17-year-old Kameron Allison by Robert Jackson, 22. Jackson was found guilty of first-degree murder on June 10, and police said in June that the Tipton murder may have been a form of retaliation by friends of Jackson.

Maurice Harper, 23, of Murphysboro, also awaits trial for the alleged murder of Tipton. He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

Defense attorney Herbert J. Lantz Jr. said Woods, who maintains his plea of not guilty, waived his right to a speedy trial and intends to be ready for trial in January. Judge Kimmel set the trial date for Jan. 27.

Woods’ case file at the Jackson County Courthouse lists 16 potential witnesses the defense may use in the trial.

Brian Peach can be reached at [email protected]