Thursday, February 02, 2017 - Updated: 9:52 AM• Pre-trial is Feb. 21
By Michele Longworth
Alleged murder suspect, Allan Stephens, 61, was back in Massac Circuit Court last Friday for his preliminary hearing — this time walking into the courtroom shackled and handcuffed by a Massac County Deputy.
According to court documents, an entry of appearance was filed on Jan. 26, indicating Paducah Attorney Jeff Alford would represent Stephens.
Stephens was officially charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery with a firearm.
According to Massac County State’s Attorney Patrick Windhorst, the four counts represent different ways the offense of first degree murder can be charged under the statute.
Chief Judge James Williamson presided over the preliminary hearing, as Judge Joe Leberman, presiding judge on the case, was not able to be at the proceedings. Leberman became presiding judge after Massac County Judge Joe Jackson recused himself from the case.
Williamson read the case number and acknowledged Alford and his assistant, Abigail Barnes.
Alford expressed to the court that Stephens wanted to waive his right for a preliminary hearing. The judge then asked Stephens directly if that was his intention.
“Yes, your honor,” said Stephens.
At that point Williamson pointed out the proceedings would immediately go to arraignment. A not guilty plea was entered into the record for all the charges. The judge then set a pretrial date for Tuesday, Feb. 21.
According to Illinois State Police (ISP), on Sunday, Dec. 18, at approximately 5:25 p.m., Massac County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call from Stephens, from his home located at 6577 Old Marion Road.
Authorities say Stephens advised he had just shot his wife. A Massac County Deputy arrived shortly thereafter and confirmed a female victim in the home with a gunshot wound. Stephens was taken into custody at approximately 5:43 p.m.
The ISP Zone 7 Investigations and ISP Crime Scene Investigations were called in to assist with the investigation. The victim, identified as Stephens’ wife, was Deborah D. Stephens, 59, of Metropolis.
Deborah Stephens was pronounced dead at her home by the Massac County Coroner’s Office.
Stephens was officially charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery with a firearm. He is being held at Massac County Detention Center on $1 million bond.
The Planet’s request to take still photos in the courtroom was denied by Williamson.