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Request for special prosecutor in McDonough County murder case

The McDonough County Courthouse in downtown Macomb.
Rich Egger
The McDonough County Courthouse in downtown Macomb.

The defense attorney for one of two Bushnell teens accused of murder is asking the court to appoint a special prosecutor.

During a hearing on Wednesday at the McDonough County courthouse, attorney Andrew Stuckart said the McDonough County state’s attorney’s office should not be allowed to prosecute the case. He said there’s a conflict of interest because a member of the office was present for part of the investigation of the scene and could be called as a witness.

State’s Attorney Matt Kwacala scoffed, calling it nothing more than a delaying tactic. He said it’s normal for his office to be involved in investigations.

Circuit Judge Nigel Graham scheduled a Nov. 3 hearing on the motion.

Stuckart is representing Nicholas Lafary, 17. Lafary and Davin Purden, 18, are each charged with first degree murder in the death of Travis Purden, 43, whose body was found in his home in early June.

Both teens have pleaded not guilty.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.