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Top Regional News: Monmouth man charged with first-degree murder

The following stories are among today’s top stories of central Illinois.

Monmouth man charged with first-degree murder

MONMOUTH — A Monmouth man is charged with first-degree murder after an incident early Christmas Eve.

Drew M. Pearman, 34, of West Fourth Avenue, was interviewed by Monmouth police investigators at his 118 W. Fourth Ave. home and subsequently charged, a news release said. Monmouth authorities were called to Pearman’s address Sunday for a possible gunshot victim. A 27-year-old male was found dead from a gunshot wound at the residence. The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of family.

Warren County State’s Attorney Andrew Doyle said Pearman was denied bail during a detention hearing Sunday, and he likely would make a first appearance Tuesday in the case. Other charges could be possible.

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Retired teacher charged with touching teen

GALESBURG — A retired Abingdon High School teacher is charged with felony criminal sexual abuse of a teen male.

George L. Flinner, 74, allegedly “by use of force, placed his hand on the penis of” a 17-year-old male Nov. 25, according to a police report. The case was investigated by Abingdon police, and a warrant was filed for Flinner’s arrest Dec. 15. A warrant is issued after evidence or testimony is presented to a judge by a prosecutor who can be accompanied by members of the investigating law enforcement agency. The judge, in this case, then made a ruling of probable cause and set bail at $10,000, $1,000 needed to get out of jail, with the warrant.

The warrant was served on Flinner, and he was booked into the Knox County jail. Since Flinner’s arrest, another person came forward with allegations of an interaction between them and Flinner in 1994. Abingdon police are encouraging anyone with information or suspicious incidents, no matter how old the incidents are, to come forward by calling 343-9151.

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Springfield to pay $330K-plus to lawyers

SPRINGFIELD — A federal judge has ordered the city of Springfield to pay more than $330,000 to civil rights attorneys who represented two panhandlers in the legal fight over anti-panhandling laws in the city.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the order came after the 2007 panhandling ban in downtown Springfield was found to have violated the panhandlers’ First Amendment rights.

City attorney Jim Zerkle says Springfield will look to see whether it can extend the payments to the Chicago attorneys over 10 years. The city has already paid the panhandlers, Karen Otterson and Don Norton, $2,500 each under an agreement to dismiss the case. A federal appeals court struck down part of the 2007 ordinance prohibiting a verbal request for a monetary donation, saying it infringed on the First Amendment.

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Man killed in double shooting

PEORIA — A West Peoria man was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound on Saturday, the Peoria County Coroner announced Saturday.

Corey T. Hall, 32, of 805 N. Swords Ave., was found by police on the front porch of 1805 N. Linn St. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:30 a.m. by Coroner Jamie Harwood. Police were called at about 10 a.m. to the area of the 1800 block of North Linn Street when the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system issued an alert, said Police Spokeswoman Amy Dotson. It wasn’t clear how many shots the system indicated were fired. Upon arrival, officers located Hall with an apparent gunshot wound on the front porch of a residence in the 1800 block of North Linn Street.

A second man was located in the same location. He was transported to a local hospital with injuries that were not life threatening, said Dotson. Harwood said the autopsy indicated Hall suffered three wounds, though it’s not clear if they were exit or entry wounds. He was shot from the front and in the torso, the coroner said. And the shots came at close range.

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