Donegal Insurance Refuses to Pay After 6-Year-Old Boy Critically Shot at First Class Barbershop in Springfield, Illinois

(LEFT TO RIGHT) Marquidaa Bolden, Max’s mother, and Max Bolden, victim of the shooting at First Class Barbershop in Springfield, Illinois.

CLICK HERE FOR MAX BOLDEN’S GOFUNDME PAGE.

Springfield, Illinois – The Insurance Company for First Class Barbershop, located at 100 N. Wesley St. in Springfield, Illinois, is refusing to release payment for medical expenses for a six-year-old child who was shot inside the barbershop while waiting to get his haircut. Now, Donegal Insurance, the insurer in question, is facing legal actions in Sangamon County.

According to the Springfield Police, on April 8, 2023, at approximately 3:28 p.m., officers were called to First Class Barbershop for a shots fired call. According to police, two people were shooting at each other. Shortly after the shooting, an off-duty Springfield officer alerted Sangamon County dispatch that a victim of the shooting, Maximus (Max) Bolden, age 6, had just arrived there in a gray Hyundai and that he was brought in by his step-father. A report listed Max’s injury as a gunshot wound to his upper left thigh, resulting in a serious arterial bleed, and his condition was listed as life-threatening. He was later transferred to the Intensive Care Unit and air-lifted to St. Louis Children’s Hospital due to the severity of his injury.

According to investigation documents provided to us, the shooting occurred during an argument between two brothers at First Class Barbershop over the payment of a $20 haircut. One brother, identified as Ryan M. Roberson, age 36, had just received a haircut from his brother, who was working as a barber at the shop. The report states that Ryan claimed to have already paid for his haircut, while his brother insisted that he had not. This disagreement escalated when Ryan pulled out a gun, waving it around and threatening to shoot up the barbershop and his sibling. Max’s stepfather, who is also a brother of Ryan and the barber, intervened to break up the argument and managed to escort Ryan outside. While Ryan was outside, it was reported that he continuously threatened to shoot up the barbershop, causing the brother to retrieve “the barbershop gun” from a drawer. The brother then went to open the door to see if Ryan was gone. As the brother was walking back in, it was reported that Ryan came out of the car, pointed the gun at the brother, and started shooting. The brother then shot back. According to police, five shell casings were found at the scene near Wesley St., where Ryan was observed in a vehicle. Additionally, police estimate that there were approximately 10-15 people inside the barbershop during the shooting.

(Pictured Above) Ryan M. Roberson – age 37

Ryan was charged in the shooting with Armed Violence, a class X felony, Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, a class 1 felony, Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, a class 2 felony, and Possession of a Controlled Substance, a class 4 felony. Investigators also learned that the gun used in the shooting of 6-year-old Max had previously been used in the shooting at Roberson’s ex-girlfriend’s house on January 29, 2023. Roberson had a warrant out for his arrest for that shooting at the time when he shot Max.

In a plea deal with prosecutors in January 2024, Ryan pleaded guilty to reckless discharge of a firearm, a class 4 felony, and possession of a weapon by a felon, a class 2 felony. The remainder of the charges in this case were dismissed. Ryan also accepted another plea deal in the case involving the shooting at his ex-girlfriend’s house, which occurred two months before he shot 6-year-old Max with the same gun. In this case, he pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, a class 2 felony.

According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Roberson will be released within the next 4 years on April 11, 2028.

Although the criminal conclusion of this case has been resolved, we are told that Max’s medical issues are extensive and ongoing, and that he will require lifelong medical treatment.

In the recent court filings against First Class Barbershop’s insurance company, Donegal Insurance, Attorney Benjamin Sgro is representing Max’s mother, Marquidaa Bolden. He is requesting the court to enforce the settlement agreement that was agreed upon. According to the settlement agreement, First Class Barbershop’s Medical Payment Coverage limit of $15,000 was agreed upon, with $5,000 allocated to a Medicaid lien, $5,753.30 being paid to the law firm Sgro, Hanrahan, Durr, Rabin & Reinbold LLP, and $3,944.70 designated for an account that cannot be accessed without the court’s approval but can be paid to Max on his 18th birthday.

However, Attorney Sgro provided the court with emails showing that, following the settlement agreement, a payment has not been received. He has repeatedly attempted to contact Donegal Insurance’s Attorney, Paul Dykstra, who is no longer responding. “I have sent several emails and left numerous messages in that time requesting an update,” Sgro wrote. “Virtually no response has been provided.” Sgro also told Attorney Dykstra, “Max will need lifelong medical treatment as a result of this incident, and Ms. Bolden desperately needs these proceeds to care for him. Simply put, we cannot continue to await payment if your client has no intention of tendering the same despite the Court’s Order. All we ask is that your client fulfill its obligations in accordance with our agreement and the Court’s Order so that Ms. Bolden can provide and care for her now-disabled 6-year-old son.”

Max Bolden, who is described as a very smart and bright little guy, still has a GoFundMe page and it is still accepting donations. If you would like to donate, please CLICK HERE.

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Guilty Plea: Shanay Moore’s Killer Sentenced

Jovan A. Torbert – Age 38

Springfield, Illinois – The killer of a 29-year-old nursing student has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Today, Jovan A. Torbert, age 38, pleaded guilty to First Degree Murder for the homicide of Shanay Moore, age 29.

Shanay Moore – Age 29

On July 4, 2019, Springfield Police were called to 9 Bryant Lane after Moore’s family had not heard from her. Police then entered the Bryant Lane residence and discovered Moore with a fatal gunshot wound to her head. Torbert was the primary suspect in the case. The Sangamon County State’s Attorney then charged Torbert with three counts of first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. Following these charges, a Sangamon County Judge issued an arrest warrant for Torbert. In addition to that arrest warrant, Torbert was also issued an arrest warrant after he failed to appear in court in another case for failure to register as a sex offender. According to the Illinois State Police Sex Offender Registrar, Torbert was convicted of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault on a handicapped victim in Cook County. At the time, Torbert was 15 and the victim was 19.

Immediately after the homicide, Torbert had gone on the run and was eventually arrested by the US Marshal’s task force after they served an arrest warrant on Torbert at a location in Gary, Indiana.

Pursuant to today’s plea agreement made with the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office, Torbert pleaded guilty to First Degree Murder and the remaining two counts of first-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon were dismissed. Torbert was sentenced to 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, to be served at 100 percent, and was given credit for the 1,665 days that he served while awaiting trial.

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Grant Middle School Security Guard Arrested and Charged; Placed on Investigative Leave by School District

Jesse L. Crawford – Age 49

Springfield, Illinois – A Grant Middle School security guard, who was arrested and charged with battery, has been placed on Investigative Leave by Springfield School District 186.

The incident occurred on February 26, 2024, at Grant Middle School, located at 1800 W. Monroe St. A Springfield Police Officer reports that Jesse L. Crawford, age 49, was breaking up a fight between two students when a female janitor objected to his actions.

The female janitor confronted Jesse, and he became aggravated and grabbed her by the throat, throwing her to the ground. According to police, the incident was captured on video. The janitor had no visible marks or injuries, but she requested an ambulance and was transported to a local hospital to be checked for non-life-threatening injuries.

Jesse was taken to the Sangamon County Jail and was charged by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office with two counts of battery, a class A misdemeanor. He was granted pre-trial release and released from the Sangamon County Jail.

Springfield School District 186 provided the following statement: “At this time, District 186 is investigating an incident that occurred after school hours at Grant Middle School on February 26, 2024. After a preliminary investigation, a District staff member was immediately placed on investigative leave. We are unable to comment on this situation any further due to the matter involving personnel. We appreciate your understanding regarding the sensitivity of this issue and assure the community that appropriate steps are being taken. As always, the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority.”

Jesse is expected to return to court on April 24, 2024, at 9:00 a.m.

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Leland Grove Mayor’s Closed-Door Meeting: Alleged Open Meetings Act Violation and Oxford House Residents’ Backgrounds Spark Concern

Leland Grove Mayor – Mary Jo Bangert

Leland Grove, Illinois – Residents of Leland Grove have new neighbors. The newcomers are called the Oxford House. However, several residents are unhappy about this development and are furious that Mary Jo Bangert, their mayor, did nothing to prevent the Oxford House from moving into the neighborhood or at least alert them about it. Meanwhile, as neighbors were expressing their concerns, the mayor and city council members held a private meeting that may have violated the Open Meetings Act. Such a violation could potentially result in legal fees for the village if a lawsuit is filed against them and could lead to criminal charges against the Mayor and Council Members.

The Oxford House is designed to help individuals recover from drug and alcohol addiction. It consists of people with criminal backgrounds and/or individuals recovering from substance abuse who live together in a shared residence. They are required to follow three rules: (1) each Oxford House must be financially self-supported; (2) each Oxford House must be democratically run; and (3) anyone who relapses into drug or alcohol use must be immediately expelled from their Oxford House.

According to a list provided to us, which identified the individuals in the Oxford House, one resident, who is currently on parole for driving under the influence, had previously received two DUIs within five months and had been sentenced to five years in prison. The resident, who was intoxicated and had no auto insurance, struck a man, seriously injuring him. The judge at the time told him, “I don’t think you’re an evil or a bad person. It’s one thing to drink and drive and kill yourself, but to almost kill other people is unspeakable.”

Another Oxford resident, who is also on parole, had his wife recently call Leland Grove police on February 20, 2024. She told police that he was missing and wasn’t answering her calls while he was in Chicago visiting friends. This resident is on parole for armed robbery and aggravated robbery, indicating that he was armed with a firearm. He also has a history of aggravated fleeing from police, aiding and abetting a stolen vehicle, attempted burglary, possession of a controlled substance, and burglary.

A neighbor, who preferred not to be named, witnessed the police at the Oxford House on February 20. They told us that the criminal history of some of the residents is what concerns them the most, especially with having young children. “I wish the Mayor would have done something. She should have called a special meeting to let us know. She should have fought this.”

The new Oxford House, located at 1809 Noble Ave in Leland Grove, has been the subject of multiple complaints from neighbors in the past few weeks, according to copies of emails we’ve obtained.

The complaints began on January 25, 2024. 

One neighbor emailed the mayor, stating, “Over the last few days, we’ve noticed many comings and goings from 1809 Noble. Unfortunately, last summer, the longtime prior owner, Mr. Turner, moved into assisted living. The house has seemingly been in a state of flux since then. Over the weekend, specifically on Sunday around 2 pm, I observed two men walking up and down the street smoking. The scent of cannabis was present.” The neighbor also questioned how the home could be zoned for 8 unrelated men. “Given the many comings and goings of unknown people from the home, many neighbors have been talking and expressing concern. It came to the attention of many neighbors today that a group of 8 men from the “Oxford House” are residing in the home. Allegedly, this company provides a recovery home for men with drug and alcohol addiction. The home is zoned single-family residential. I am not clear how a recovery home for 8 unrelated men fits that zoning requirement.” Mayor Bangert responded that it was unlawful for any jurisdiction to discriminate against congregate living for the disabled. “According to federal law, recovering alcoholics and drug addicts fall within the scope of the term “disabled.” She also told the neighbor that she would have City Attorney Roland Cross look further into the matter and mentioned that she had asked a Sergeant with the Leland Grove Police Department to visit the house to address a few issues.

Another neighbor emailed Alderwoman Diana Hetherington and requested an immediate neighborhood meeting. “Diane – Can I please request an immediate neighborhood meeting with you, LG Village legal counsel, and our concerned neighbors? We all need a better understanding of the recent developments on Noble Ave. We would like to hear directly from the Village how they interpret the residential housing ordinance and what, if anything, can be done to minimize or remove this potentially negative addition to our neighborhood. Clarity on the Federal Government Fair Housing new guidelines – and how this property falls within the protected class – might be helpful. The sooner this is addressed, the better for all involved.”

Alderwoman Hetherington responded, stating that she was currently in Florida and would contact him upon her return. However, 5 days later, the Mayor responded to this neighbor with a similar message that she provided to every neighbor who had a complaint. She informed this neighbor that it is unlawful for the city to notify neighbors of this group home and that it is unlawful for the city to call a special meeting regarding this matter.

“Another Complaint”

A third neighbor emailed Alderman Stephen Klokkenga. This neighbor wanted to know why they had to go through several stipulations to get a new garage built due to storm damage, but the village did not protest the Oxford House. “I am writing to convey the concern my husband and I feel regarding the recent installation of the group home for recovering drug users and alcoholics. It is our understanding that our street is zoned for single-family dwellings, yet we heard nothing regarding this exception being pushed through, and were given no opportunity to protest the move. Our neighbors, who have young children, are naturally concerned and have seen people smoking joints outside the home. We always felt safe in our neighborhood and feel very much betrayed by this move. When we needed a new garage built due to storm damage, the zoning board made us get permission from all neighbors surrounding our home, and there were still stipulations. Where was our voice in this process?”

Alderman Klokkenga, who received this email, forwarded it to the mayor and said, “Another complaint.” The Mayor responded to this neighbor with a similar message that she provided to every neighbor who had a complaint. She informed this neighbor that it is unlawful for the city to notify neighbors of this group home and that it is unlawful for the city to call a special meeting regarding this matter. However, she did add that Leland Grove Police Chief Dan Ryan is making sure the area is patrolled.

Neighbor demands a special meeting

A fourth neighbor, who identified herself as a mother of 2, emailed the mayor and wanted to know why was it so easy for the Oxford House to “skirt” by, but stated that the Leland Grove pressured its citizens to follow permits. “I have lived in our house for almost 10 years this July. A house that I have spent money and personal labor towards improvements. A house where I filed every permit, paid every fee that Leland Grove has asked of me. Something that apparently didn’t need to be done at all. Why was it so easy for this Oxford house to “skirt” by when Leland Grove has done everything to pressure its citizens to follow permits? Tyler Lanier (Leland Grove’s Administrator)at one point even showed up at my house demanding such for a dilapidated fence. However, you made it simple for a halfway house to “magically” appear in the night. Leland Grove was once a place where people aspired to live, the cleanliness, the character of the homes, and the safety of an active police force dedicated to its citizens. All things that once carried so much pride in my community is now stripped away. You, Mayor Bangert have failed us and most importantly, our children. The lack of communication from you and our elected officials is a disappointment. Your community SHOULD have been notified, providing us a time to be proactive, not reactive. I want to know what you and the council will be doing to fight for our community. I want a special meeting COMMUNICATED to all residents allowing us the time to ask questions and most importantly, receive responses. We have the right as this has not only impacted the value of our homes but the safety of our families. I’m asking you to show up for your community before we too start selling our homes to halfway housing. I look forward to receiving the date of said meeting. 

The Mayor responded to this neighbor with a similar message that she provided to every neighbor who had a complaint. She informed this neighbor that it is unlawful for the city to notify neighbors of this group home and that it is unlawful for the city to call a special meeting regarding this matter. However, she did add that Leland Grove Police Chief Dan Ryan is making sure the area is patrolled.

A 5th neighbor questions how the Village could allowed this

A 5th neighbor emailed the mayor inquiring how the Village would allow 5 males to live under the same roof if they aren’t related. “It was just brought to my attention from a neighbor that the old Turner house on the 1700 block of Noble Avenue has been sold to a gentleman with the last name of Gurney. Don’t know his first name. It is my understanding that his intentions are to use this single dwelling home for a group home under the guidance of the Oxford Alcohol/Drug Recovery Home. This is outrageous to say the least. I’m not totally clear on LG’s ordinance, but I know that two families can’t live under the same roof it they aren’t related? Do you understand what this will do to our property values? My neighbor has talked with members of our Police Dept and they are concerned about the frequency of calls that will result in this rehab facility being located in our quiet little village. I can’t imagine what the young families on this block might be thinking as I have not talked with any of them. I am wondering if this issue was brought up during the monthly meetings? This seems like a very bad thing for this neighborhood.”

The Mayor responded to this neighbor with a similar message that she provided to every neighbor who had a complaint. She informed this neighbor that it is unlawful for the city to notify neighbors of this group home and that it is unlawful for the city to call a special meeting regarding this matter. However, she did add that Leland Grove Police Chief Dan Ryan is making sure the area is patrolled.

The Mayor tells all Aldermen not to speak to the media

Springfield Leaks was informed about the Oxford House and the complaints from several neighbors. As a result, we sent the Mayor an email inquiring about any ordinances or agreements passed to allow the Oxford House to be placed in the village. In response to our email, the mayor instructed all Aldermen not to speak to the media and stated that City Attorney Cross would respond to Springfield Leaks. However, Attorney Cross never provided a response, prompting us to submit a Freedom of Information Request.

Two more neighbor complaints received

A 6th neighbor emailed the mayor with their complaint. “Tonight a taxi drove by and picked up several men who were loudly yelling. We noticed this several HOUSES down. I understand based on the email you have provided others, no response to me yet…that you are taking a backseat approach. There are cases out there and available to you should you decide to do the research. I would be happy to provide you with what we have found. Again, I look forward to your response. Please don’t send me the horrible article you have been passing around. It’s unwanted and extremely unhelpful as I’m sure you would feel the same should this have occurred on your side of Chatham road.

And the 7th neighbor emails the mayor with their complaint and said, “I am a resident in Leland Grove. There was a recent home purchased close to me. I was just notified that the residence s being used as a home for recovering drug and alcohol addicts. Several of the neighbors have been raising concerns due to the high foot traffic and vehicle traffic. Can you tell me if this is zoned along with allowed in our city limits? What are our options as this block has several young families that play and walk outside. Thank you for your help and immediate attention to this matter.

Leland Grove Mayor Bangert says they have to be careful as they move forward

In another email that we’ve obtained from Mayor Bangert that was written on January 31, 2024, to all of the Village aldermen, she calls this a difficult matter and discusses how they are unable to have a meeting with the neighbors as they have asked. “You may have received emails regarding the Oxford house on Noble Ave, please continue to send them to me. I have consulted with Attorney Cross and I am responding to each email in a similar manner. This is a difficult matter since the Oxford House is under the Federal Disability Act. A City may not show discrimination to this group, that is the reason we are unable to have a town meeting as the neighbors have requested. Attorney Cross has shared with me that we have to be careful as we move forward. Other cities have been sued or have sued the Oxford House resulting in the cities being responsible for Oxford House’s attorney fees in any litigation. He did share with me the attached article, it may help add additional insight to this matter.”

However, the next day, on February 1, 2024, despite the mayor’s statement about being unable to hold a town meeting as requested by neighbors, she sent an email to two Aldermen stating that she planned to invite two Leland Grove residents to join their meeting. “(Alderwoman) Diana and (Alderman) Steve I plan to invite Julia Wykoff and Mark Birtch to meet with us regarding the Oxford House. I have attached a memo from Attorney Cross, please remember this memo is for council knowledge only, it is not to be shared. We will meet Thursday, February 8th from 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. at the City Council room.” 

We briefly communicated via text messages with City Attorney Ross, who was also aware of this “meeting” as he was carbon copied on the email. After exchanging a few text messages with Attorney Ross, we asked him who all was in attendance at this meeting on February 8, 2024. However, he stopped responding. According to a source close to Springfield Leaks, we were informed that the following individuals were at that meeting: Alderwoman Diana Hetherington, Alderman Stephen Klokkenga, Mayor Mary Jo Bangert, Attorney Roland Cross, Julia Wykoff, Chad Zoelzer, and Mark Birtch.

According to the Illinois Open Meetings Act, a meeting occurs when the majority of the minimum number of members required to make decisions gather to discuss official business. In Leland Grove, the City Council consists of 7 members, including the mayor. To conduct business officially, at least 4 members must be present; this number is known as the quorum. Therefore, if 3 out of those 4 required members are present, a meeting is taking place in accordance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act. However, no notice was given to the public to inform them of this meeting, which constitutes a violation of the Open Meetings Act. 

According to the Open Meetings Act, elected officials found violating it could be subject to a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,500. Additionally, if a lawsuit is filed against Leland Grove for violating the Open Meetings Act, the village could be held responsible for attorney fees and costs.

Currently, Springfield Leaks is actively consulting with an attorney in Northern Illinois to review this alleged violation.

Neighbors have informed us that they intend to attend tonight’s City Council meeting to voice their concerns and opposition to the Oxford House. The meeting is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. in the meeting room of the Instructional Resource Center, located at 2000 Chatham Road, in the City of Leland Grove, Illinois.

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(Audio of 911 Call) Woman Calls Police to Ask Where Alderman Chuck Redpath Is, So She Can Kill Him

(Left) Samantha G. White – Age 43, called police and told them that she wanted to kill Alderman Chuck Redpath, who is pictured to the right.

Springfield, Illinois – On February 16, 2024, around 12:22 p.m., Sangamon County Dispatch received a 911 call from a woman who said she wanted to kill Alderman Chuck Redpath. Springfield Leaks obtained a copy of the 911 call, which is available at the bottom of the article.

The woman, who identified herself as Samantha G. White, age 43, called Sangamon County 911 dispatch, and the conversation went as follows:

“I need to know where Chuck Redpath is,” White said.

“Ok, where do you need the police?” the dispatcher responded.

“Because I’m going to go kill him,” White then said.

“Ok, why is that?” the dispatcher inquired.

“Because he’s out looking for me,” White explained.

“He’s out looking for you?” the dispatcher clarified.

“Oh yeah, because I reported him,” White replied.

When the dispatcher asked her what her name was, she said, “Oh, you know who I am.”

“I do not,” the dispatcher responded.

“Everybody knows who I am,” she answered.

She then told the dispatcher that her name is Samantha White.

Officers were dispatched to her house, but she wasn’t located there. A Springfield Police Sergeant then authorized a ping on her cell phone. According to police, Samantha said that she was looking for Alderman Redpath because he was looking for her, due to her reporting him for sexual harassment on a military base in the past.

Samantha was eventually located around 1:17 p.m., after being stopped at 6th and Bryn Mawr Blvd.

Inside her vehicle, officers say Samantha had a baseball bat sitting on the floorboard of the passenger side of the car, which was easily accessible from the driver’s seat.

When officers spoke with Samantha, she stated that she was having a manic episode due to some medication she wanted to change and that she had not slept due to her hatred of Alderman Redpath. Samantha was transported to Memorial Behavioral Health to be screened and involuntarily admitted due to her mental health in the past and the current incident. However, Samantha was released from the hospital at 10:44 p.m., and transported to the Sangamon County Jail. She was charged by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office with Threatening a Public Official, a class 3 felony.

On February 20, 2024, Samantha, who doesn’t have a criminal record, was granted pre-trial release from the Sangamon County Jail. As part of her release conditions, she was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device, stay 500 feet away from the municipal building unless for official business, and have no contact with Alderman Redpath.

Samantha is expected to return to court on February 29, 2024 at 9:00 a.m.

Samantha’s call to Sangamon County 911 Dispatch – If you can’t hear the audio file, click here.
After Samantha hung up, Sangamon County 911 Dispatch called her back. – If you can’t hear the audio file, click here.

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DCFS Supervisor Arrested at Work, Accused of Stealing Money from Elderly Relative

Audrey G. Church – Age 56

Springfield, Illinois – On January 25, 2024, Springfield Police went to the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, located at 1124 N. Walnut St., to execute an arrest warrant for one of their employees.

The arrest warrant was for Audrey G. Church, age 56, who is a supervisor with DCFS. She had been charged in Quincy, Illinois, with three counts of Financial Exploitation of an Elderly Person. According to documents we’ve obtained, the first charge alleges that Audrey, who was in a position of trust, committed Financial Exploitation of an Elderly Person over the age of 80 and knowingly and illegally used $5,000 of assets. The second charge alleges that Audrey, who was in a position of trust, committed Financial Exploitation of an Elderly Person over the age of 80 and knowingly and illegally used $5,000 of assets. The third and last charge alleges that Audrey, who was in a position of trust, committed Financial Exploitation of an Elderly Person over the age of 80 and knowingly and illegally used over $300 but less than $5,000 of assets. The charges allege that she committed these crimes between March 22, 2023, and December 23, 2023.

We reached out to the Quincy Police Department to get a copy of the police report. However, we were denied access to the police report and have since appealed that denial to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

A source tells us that the victim in this case is Audrey’s mother; however, according to the documents we were able to obtain, we couldn’t independently verify if that is correct, but we were able to confirm that the victim is, in fact, a close relative of Audrey.

According to state records, Audrey was originally hired as a Child Protection Specialist and earned $76,296 as a base pay, but as a result of overtime, she earned a total of $119,300 last year. As of January 1, 2024, she was then promoted to a Public Service Administrator and received a $12,684 yearly increase in pay.

We also reached out to Heather Tarczan, the Director of Communications with the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, for comment. She informed us that she was looking into it, but as of the time of publishing, we have not heard back from her. Additionally, we have been informed that Audrey is still employed as a supervisor with DCFS.

Audrey is expected to return to court tomorrow, February 21, 2024, at 9:30 a.m.

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Man Arrested for Waving a Loaded Gun at Passing Cars on North Grand

Dalton C. McDermott – Age 29

Springfield, Illinois – On February 10, 2024, Springfield Officers were dispatched to the area of MacArthur and North Grand for reports of a person flashing a firearm at passing cars.

According to witnesses, the suspect who was flashing the gun was described as a white male wearing a black jacket, white shirt, and jeans. Officers located a suspect matching that description, who was later identified as Dalton C. McDermott, age 29, walking eastbound on North Grand Ave.

Officers report that when they exited their vehicle, Dalton was near the front passenger side of a pickup truck. That’s when they say they saw Dalton place the firearm on the ground behind the front passenger tire. The gun, a .45 Springfield XDS, was loaded with a magazine containing 6 live rounds.

According to records, Dalton has a revoked FOID card in Illinois due to being convicted of a felony.

Dalton was arrested and taken to the Sangamon County Jail and has been charged by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office with Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, a class 3 felony, No valid FOID Card, a class 3 felony, and Aggravated Unlawful use of a weapon, a class 4 felony.

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Woman Struck and Killed by Vehicle in Roadway at Mobile Home Park Identified

Alexandria Estrada – Age 36

Springfield, Illinois – At approximately 8:12 p.m.,  on February 3, 2024, Sangamon County Deputies responded to a report of a person down in the roadway at the mobile home park located at 1236 North Oaklane Road. A resident of the mobile home park discovered a person lying in the road. Riverton Fire Department responded to the scene and determined the individual was deceased, and suffered injuries consistent with being hit by a vehicle. Investigation led Deputies to the identity of the 36 y/ female victim. 

Deputies were able to follow a trail of blood back to the roadway in front of Lot 131. Witnesses on scene reported a blue Jeep as possibly being involved.  Investigation led Deputies to potential occupants of that trailer, and an associated blue 2019 Jeep. Based on this information, 53 year-old Steven Mehundrew was identified as a suspect.

At approximately 10:18 p.m., Mehundrew’s vehicle was located by a license plate reader camera at Dirksen Parkway and Clearlake Avenue. Deputies and Springfield Police Officers responded to the area and quickly located Mehundrew’s vehicle, and conducted a traffic stop in the 2400 block of East South Grand Avenue. Mehundrew was taken into custody and transported to the Sheriff’s Office. Suspected blood was located on Mehundrew’s 2019 blue Jeep, and it was seized as evidence. 

Mehundrew was taken to the Sangamon County Jail after being interviewed by detectives.

Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon identified the female victim struck by the motor vehicle as Alexandria Estrada, 36, of Springfield. He informed us that she was pronounced deceased at the scene. Coroner Allmon conducted an autopsy, and preliminary findings suggested that Ms. Estrada died from multiple blunt force injuries sustained in a pedestrian versus motor vehicle incident.

Mehundrew has since been charged by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office with failure to report a crash that resulted in a death, a Class 1 felony, two counts of aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm, also Class 1 felonies, and a crash injury resulting in a death, a Class 4 felony. The Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office has asked a judge to keep Mehundrew in custody and deny him pre-trial release, but as of the time of this article, it has not yet been determined if the judge will hold Mehundrew.

According to social media accounts, Mehundrew and Estrada were in a relationship. Additionally, Sheriff Campbell has confirmed to us that they lived together.

This matter remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Sangamon County Coroner’s Office and the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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36-Year-Old Woman Dead After Being Hit by a Vehicle; Suspect Arrested

Steven Mehundrew – Age 53

Springfield, Illinois – At approximately 8:12 p.m., on February 3, 2024, Sangamon County Sheriff Deputies responded to a report of a person down in the roadway at the mobile home park located at 1236 North Oaklane Road. A resident of the mobile home park discovered a person lying in the road. Riverton Fire Department responded to the scene and determined the individual was deceased, and suffered injuries consistent with being hit by a vehicle. Investigation led Deputies to the identity of the 36 y/o female victim. 

Deputies were able to follow a trail of blood back to the roadway in front of Lot 131. Witnesses on scene reported a blue Jeep as possibly being involved.  The Investigation led Deputies to potential occupants of that trailer, and an associated blue 2019 Jeep. Based on that information, 53 year-old Steven Mehundrew was identified as a suspect.

At approximately 10:18 p.m., Mehundrew’s vehicle was located by a license plate reader camera at Dirksen Parkway and Clearlake Avenue. Deputies and Springfield Police Officers responded to the area and quickly located Mehundrew’s vehicle, and conducted a traffic stop in the 2400 block of East South Grand Avenue. Mehundrew was taken into custody and transported to the Sheriff’s Office. Suspected blood was located on Mehundrew’s 2019 blue Jeep, and it was seized as evidence. 

Mehundrew was taken to the Sangamon County Jail after being interviewed by detectives. Mehundrew was charged with 1st Degree Murder, Reckless Homicide, Leaving the Scene of an Accident involving death or injury, and Failure to Report an Accident involving death or injury. 

It’s believed that Mehundrew and the victim lived together at 1236 North Oaklane #131.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Riverton and Springfield Police Departments for their prompt response and assistance on this case.

This matter remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Sangamon County Coroner’s Office and the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Stay tuned to Springfield Leaks for updates on this story.

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31-Year-Old Male in Stable Condition After Being Shot at 3rd Base Bar

Third Base Bar, located at 410 W. Maple Ave S., in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois – On February 4th at 2:09 a.m. the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office, received a call of an unruly crowd at 3rd Base Bar, 410 W. Maple Ave S., Springfield.

Immediately following, a call of shots fired came in at the bar.

Deputies arrived and located a male victim, 31-year-old Devonte L. Childs. He was transported to Memorial Hospital with originally life-threatening injuries. However, as of yesterday afternoon, his condition was reported to us as stable.

Video showed an altercation, a black male suspect retrieve a weapon from a vehicle, and fire at the victim. The suspect and several other people got into a vehicle and fled the scene. 

The suspect was described as a black male, tall and medium build. Dreadlock style haircut, shoulder length. 

Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell informs us that evidence was collected at the scene.

Stay tuned to Springfield Leaks as we gather additional information regarding this shooting.

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