By Michele LongworthAllan Stephens, 61, was in Massac County Circuit court Tuesday morning for a pre-trial hearing in front of presiding First Circuit Judge Joseph Leberman with his attorneys Jeff Alford and assistant Abigail Barnes
Also present were Massac County State’s Attorney Patrick Windhorst and Massac County Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Stratemeyer.
When Leberman asked about setting a trial date, Alford began by stating he and Windhorst had talked last week about more motions that will have to be filed pertaining to the case. He also said there is new discovery in the case.
On his last court date on Jan. 27 in front of Chief Judge James Williamson, Stephens waived his right to a preliminary hearing and a formal reading of the charges. Alford told the judge this week Stephens wants to waive his right to a speedy trial.
At Tuesday’s court proceedings Leberman explained Stephens has the right to a speedy trial, explaining tstate statute requires a trial to be held within 120 days after the date of incarceration.
He addressed Stephens directly and said the decision to waive his right to a speedy trial is his and no one can make it for him, at which point he asked him if he wished to waive his right, and Stephens said that he did.
Leberman indicated to Alford and Windhorst he could have a conference call with the attorneys pertaining to dates for when motions would need to be filed.
After looking at the court’s schedule, Leberman set Stephens’ next preliminary hearing date for Tuesday, April 11 at 9 a.m. In addition, Stephens’ case has been added to the court docket for jury trial on Tuesday, April 25 at 9 a.m.
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.