UPDATES AT BOTTOM OF STORY:
Six people charged with first-degree murder for the December 2008 death of an elderly Springfield man will stand trial for the mans death.
Theresa F. Rash, 49; Alexandrea M. McNeeley, 26; Rusty L. Amoss, 27; William L. Reed, 25; Jeff S. Bloom, 48; and Troy M. Christiansen, 29, are scheduled to be arraigned April 13 in Greene County Circuit Court.
The six are accused of conspiring to plan the death of 63-year-old Stephen E. Rash, Theresa Rash's husband, who was found dead in his Chicago street home on December 6, 2008, with his throat slashed.
Investigators say that it was Amoss who slit Stephen Rash's throat. He was bound over for trial on Tuesday (03-03-09) by Associate Circuit Judge Mark Powell.
Attorneys for McNeeley, who is Theresa Rash's daughter, and Christiansen waived their preliminary hearing Friday (03-06-09), after hearing testimony against the other three suspects from a Springfield detective, the Greene County Medical Examiner and the wife of one of the suspects.
Karen Gardner, married Bloom shortly before Rash's murder and said she was present at meeting in November with all of the suspects. She testified that it was at that meeting that Theresa Rash said she wanted out of her marriage because her husband was verbally abusing her.
Gardner said that Theresa Rash asked Bloom to help her find a way to get rid of him....and he said OK; and then asked Amoss and Reed to kill Rash.
When questioned by detectives, both Amoss and Reed allegedly confessed to the crime.
Amoss and Reed gave investigators differing scenarios about how Stephen Rash was attacked....they did agree on one thing, it was Amoss who slit Rash's throat with a boot knife, according to Springfield Police Cpl. Chris Barb.
Barb, who is the lead detective on the case, testified that Reed admitted that he was in Rash's house when the man was killed but that he did not participate in the his murder.
After Rash was killed, the duo allegedly went somewhere where Amoss could clean up, before meeting up with the other suspects at a bowling alley.
Gardner testified that when Amoss and Reed hooked up with the group later, they told them that Mr. Rash was dead.
Gardner said that she did not immediately go to cops with news of the alleged plot until January......after she caught her husband (Bloom) and Theresa Rash in bed together.
Gardner testified that Bloom kicked her out of the house the two shared on Summit Street shortly before Christmas.....and that she heard her husband tell Theresa Rash that he wanted to be with her; and allegedly threatening to "get rid of" Gardner, too, if she caused any trouble."
Public defender Clate Baker, who represents Theresa Rash, and Tom Carver, who represents Bloom, asked Gardner about her use of prescription pain pills and anti depressants.
Gardner acknowledged she does have trouble remembering things at times when she takes her medication.
A supporter of the suspects was removed from the courtroom after exclaiming "That's bull- ..." when Barb testified Reed told him Theresa Rash asked them to kill her husband.
A Springfield woman charged with murdering her elderly stepfather is out of jail because of death threats within the Greene County jail.
Alexandrea McNeeley was released from jail and will have to wear an ankle bracelet and will be under house arrest.
Prosecutors say that McNeeley and five other people conspired to kill Stephen Rash last December.
I have a couple of questions, like, why couldn't they place her in a single cell or transfer her to another jail.
Look, I have the utmost respect for our law enforces, I know they are underpaid and the jail is understaffed and overloaded....but come on this isn't some petty crime!
So now an alleged killer is walking the streets of Springfield because her life is threatened......please!