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bhetzler / Byron Hetzler, The Southern 

SIU forward Rachel Pudlowski (33) thinks it should be the Salukis' ball as she and Martin Methodist guard Destiney Williams (2) go after a loose ball in the fourth quarter at SIU Arena on Thursday in Carbondale. The Salukis went on to win 60-50.


Crime-and-courts
breaking
Jackson County
Ava police officer indicted on charges of sexual assault, abuse of a juvenile

Fenton

An Ava police officer has been indicted by a Jackson County grand jury on multiple counts of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a juvenile.

According to a news release from Jackson County State’s Attorney Michael Carr, 47-year-old William F. Fenton, of Murphysboro, is charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault, Class 1 felonies, and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, Class 2 felonies.

According to the news release, the indictment alleges that during the month of July 2017, Fenton committed acts of sexual penetration and sexual conduct with a juvenile.

The release states that if found guilty, Fenton could face 22 years of imprisonment with a mandatory supervised release period of two years to natural life.

According to the release, Fenton was arrested Wednesday by the Illinois State Police and posted bond. He is scheduled to make a first appearance before the court on Jan. 3.

The release states the investigation is being pursued by the Illinois State Police. Assistant State’s Attorney Rebecca Blomer and State’s Attorney Michael C. Carr are handling the prosecution.

— The Southern


Local
Health Care Open Enrollment
Final days approaching for open enrollment in health care

CHESTER — The end is nearing for the truncated open-enrollment period for the Illinois marketplace and representatives from the state are still hard at it, making stops throughout the region to spread the word in Southern Illinois.

Early in the enrollment period — which was shrunk from 12 weeks to just six this year — the state's Get Covered Illinois team committed to make it to all 102 counties in the state to help answer questions people may have about the ever-changing health care landscape. A representative was in Chester on Thursday, and others will be in Anna at the Stinson Memorial Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, as well as in Mound City at City Hall on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Karen Woods, director of Get Covered Illinois, said Thursday was her sixth county meeting. She said the get-the-word-out campaign has been really important this enrollment period.

“Enrollment nationally is down,” she said, adding that it had spiked initially before falling off.

She has taken a few Southern Illinois meetings and said attendance has been slow. She said she’s had at least a few visitors at each session with the exception of Waterloo. She couldn’t quite pinpoint what was driving the low turnout.

“I wish I knew,” she said, attributing some of it to the swirl of news and rumors being thrown at consumers this year. “Confusion and constant change from Washington,” she said has been one of the biggest challenges.

One theme this year has been getting what she described as “the young invincibles” to engage in the discussion about health care and ultimately sign up. She said some may not realize how quickly bills can pile up with just one medical event if that person is not insured.

“It can be really devastating if they have a medical crisis without insurance,” Woods said.

Jennifer Hammer, director of the Illinois Department of Insurance, said these onsite visits will be all about answering questions for consumers — customers won’t be able to enroll during the meeting, but should have the tools necessary to do so themselves after.

These county visits are not the only thing the IDI has done to make the most of this shortened enrollment period — Hammer said they have added about 230 extra phone hours, extending their hours to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Hammer said simply getting insurance is not the end goal — it is about getting the right coverage. Hammer said it is important that customers not passively enroll.

“No action is the worst action,” she said. Hammer wants to make sure customers are aware of how their plans might change.

“Keeping your plan does not mean that your premium will stay the same nor the benefits will stay the same,” Mahoney said.

“Cost should not be the only factor,” Hammer said, adding that her department is “encouraging people to shop around.”


Cairo Housing Crisis
Cairo Housing Crisis | ACHA travel claims in focus

CAIRO — For years in Illinois’ southernmost city, public housing residents have lived in deplorable conditions, among rats, roaches, mold and with inadequate heat that forces many to use their ovens to stay warm.

Meanwhile, according to the Housing and Urban Development’s complaint filed last week against James Wilson and Martha Franklin, the two former Alexander County Housing Authority officials traveled excessively to destination cities, laid their heads at nice hotels, enjoyed feasts of steak and seafood, and treated themselves and others to booze using government funds.

HUD’s Office of Hearings and Appeals’ 46-page complaint outlines 125 civil penalties against Wilson and Franklin seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. More than half of the claims brought by HUD against them revolve around 11 trips that Wilson and/or Franklin took between Feb. 7, 2012, and July 15, 2014, in the name of training. HUD claims the two inappropriately spent $41,755.30 in government funds on travel, and that Franklin also separately inappropriately spent $1,967.85. 

Most of those trips took place in the year leading up to Wilson’s retirement in early 2013, as previously documented by The Southern Illinoisan in a 2015 article titled “Living Large on the Public Dime.” This spring, HUD officials told about 185 families they would have to relocate from two public housing complexes that are no longer safe. 

In an interview in the fall of 2015, Wilson told the newspaper that the travel for training purposes was necessary, even as he was scheduled to retire, because he was retained after his retirement as a contract consultant. He defended the unusual number of trips he took that year as necessary for him to stay current on federal housing regulations.

At the time, he denied any illegal activity related to the local agency’s highly unusual travel and reimbursement policies that HUD, in its civil complaint, says constituted double dipping. In some cases, HUD also claims Wilson and Franklin inappropriately used funds designated for particular housing developments to pay for their excessive travel.

On Nov. 28, the day HUD filed its claim against him and Franklin, Wilson left a voicemail message with the newspaper stating that the only statement he wanted to make on the matter was to “wish everyone a Merry Christmas.” He did not return a subsequent phone call, and The Southern has never been successful in reaching Franklin, whose number is not listed.

After HUD instructed the ACHA board to terminate Wilson’s consulting contract in the fall of 2014 because they deemed it inappropriate, the ACHA board rehired him as executive director for three months to serve from January to March of 2015.

Wilson served as executive director for only 11 days before announcing his resignation, but he walked away with the full $15,000 because the contract was structured so that he could keep all of the up-front payment regardless of whether the contract was terminated early for any reason, or by either party. The latest trip the ACHA funded for Wilson, according to the HUD complaint, was on May 20, 2014.

This is a closer look at the section of HUD’s complaint that deals with what the federal agency deemed “unreasonable and unsubstantiated travel expenses.”

According to the federal government’s complaint, between October 2011 and May 2014, the ACHA made 62 payments for ineligible travel expenses for Wilson and/or Franklin. “Wilson and Franklin knew or should have known that these charges were improperly charged to the projects, overstated and constituted double-charging, and were thus an ineligible use of ACHA funds,” the complaint states.

The chart specifically identifies each claim, and explains why HUD alleges it was inappropriate. The first chart outlines allegations of liability are against both Wilson and Franklin, and the second, shorter chart outlines allegations of liability against Franklin only.

Destination: Las Vegas, Nevada, February 2012

Amount: $2,025.10

Date: Feb. 7, 2012

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Wilson voucher for mileage, six days of lodging and nine days of meals

Reason payment is improper: Voucher improperly charges for lodging for six days and nine days of meals when training only lasted three days. Voucher also constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged on ACHA credit card.

Amount: $170.63

Date: Feb. 7, 2012

Type of Payment: Check

Description: Lodging reimbursement for Golden Nugget Hotel

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $71

Date: Feb. 15, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Grotto Ristorante

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge was meals were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher

Seattle, Washington, May 2012

Amount: $2,548

Date: April 19, 2012

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Wilson voucher for mileage, six days lodging and meals for 11 days

Reason payment is improper: Voucher improperly charged to the projects. Voucher also improperly charges for lodging for six days and 11 days of meals when the training only lasted five days. Finally, voucher constitutes a double-dipping charge, as meals and lodging were separately charged on the ACHA credit card.

Amount: $1,432.20

Date: May 9, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Charge includes meals and lodging expenses.

Reason payment is improper: Expense was improperly charged to the projects. Expense also constitutes a double-charge as lodging and meals were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher

Amount: $4.40

Date: May 9, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Sheraton Seattle Hotel

Reason payment is improper: Expense was improperly charged to the projects. Expense also constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $176

Date: May 10, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Sheraton Seattle hotel

Reason payment is improper: Expense was improperly charged to the projects. Expense also constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $46.50

Date: May 9, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Orange Cab Company – Seattle, Washington

Reason payment is improper: Expense was improperly charged to the projects

Amount: $181

Date: May 7, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Space Needle Restaurant

Reason payment is improper: Expense was improperly charged to the projects. Expense also constitutes a double-charge as meals were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $180

Date: May 8, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Elliott’s Oyster House

Reason payment is improper: Expense was improperly charged to the projects. Expense also constitutes a double-charge as meals were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

San Francisco, California, July 2012

Amount: $1,689

Date: June 11, 2012

Type of Payment: Check

Description: Reimbursement to James Wilson for airfare to San Francisco

Reason payment is improper: Reimbursement was improperly charged to the projects. Reimbursement also constitutes a double-charge as mileage was separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $2,880.10

Date: July 16, 2012

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Wilson voucher for mileage, six days lodging and meals for nine days

Reason payment is improper: Voucher was improperly charged to the projects. Voucher also improperly charges for lodging for six days and nine days of meals when the training only lasted three days. Finally, voucher constitutes a double-charge, as airfare was separately reimbursed, and meals and lodging were separately charged on ACHA credit card.

Amount: $249.49

Date: July 29, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Fisherman’s Wharf

Reason payment is improper: Expense improperly charged to the projects. Expense also constitutes a double-charge as meals were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $84

Date: July 31, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Lambert’s parking

Reason payment is improper: Expense improperly charged to the projects

Amount: $52.67

Date: July 31, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Legends Bar of San Francisco

Reason payment is improper: Expense improperly charged to the projects. Expense also constitutes a double-charge as meals were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $535.15

Date: Aug. 1, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Marriott San Francisco

Reason payment is improper: Expense improperly charged to the projects. Expense also constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $440.30

Date: Aug. 1, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Marriott San Francisco

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to the ACHA via voucher

Amount: $100

Date: Aug. 1, 2012

Type of Payment: Check

Description: Reimbursement for James Wilson cab fare

Reason payment is improper: Reimbursement improperly charged to the projects.

Washington, D.C., September 2012

Amount: $956.03

Date: Aug. 31, 2012

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Wilson voucher for mileage, two days lodging and meals for five days

Reason payment is improper: Voucher was improperly charged to the projects. Voucher also improperly charges for meals for five days when the training only lasted three days. Finally, voucher constitutes a double-charge, as lodging was separately charged to the ACHA credit card.

Amount: $808.86

Date: Sept. 11, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Washington Court Hotel (charge includes lodging and meals)

Reason payment is improper: Expense was improperly charged to the projects. Expense also constitutes a double-charge, meals and lodging were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $63

Date: Sept. 11, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Lambert’s parking

Reason payment is improper: Expense improperly charged to the projects

Amount: $80

Date: Sept. 12, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Reimbursement to James Wilson for cab fare

Reason payment is improper: Expense improperly charged to the projects

Amount: $308.70

Date: Oct. 17, 2012

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Franklin voucher for mileage and meals for two days

Reason payment is improper: Voucher improperly charged to the projects. Voucher also constitutes a double-charge, as meals were separately charged to the ACHA credit card.

Amount: $250

Date: Oct. 26, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Renaissance Hotel

Reason payment is improper: Expense improperly charged to the projects

Amount: $525.26

Date: Oct. 31, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Renaissance Hotel

Reason payment is improper: Expense improperly charged to the projects

Amount: $700

Date: Oct. 27, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Renaissance Hotel

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher. Expense also improperly includes charges for alcoholic beverages.

Las Vegas, Nevada, December 2012

Amount: $1,798.40

Date: Sept. 12, 2012

Type of Payment: Check

Description: Reimbursement check to James Wilson for airfare to Las Vegas

Reason payment is improper: Expense improperly charged to the projects. Expense also constitutes a double-charge as Wilson and Franklin’s vouchers both separately charged the ACHA for mileage.

Amount: $1,565.61

Date: Sept. 12, 2012

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Franklin voucher for mileage, lodging for six days and eight days of meals

Reason payment is improper: Voucher improperly charged to the projects. Voucher also improperly charges six days of lodging and eight days of meals when training only lasted two days. Finally, voucher constitutes a double-charge as airfare was separately reimbursed, and meals and lodging were separately charged to ACHA credit card.

Amount: $1,565.61

Date: Nov. 28, 2012

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Wilson voucher for mileage, lodging for six days and eight days of meals

Reason payment is improper: Voucher improperly charged to the projects. Voucher also improperly charges six days of lodging and eight days of meals when training only lasted two days. Finally, voucher constitutes a double-charge as airfare was separately reimbursed, and meals and lodging were separately charged to AHCA credit card.

Amount: $201.14

Date: Dec. 13, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Golden Nugget

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $201.14

Date: Dec. 13, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Golden Nugget

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $201.14

Date: Dec. 13, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Golden Nugget

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $223.74

Date: Dec. 13, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Golden Nugget

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $201.14

Date: Dec. 13, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Golden Nugget

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $81

Date: Dec. 12, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Las Vegas Limousines

Reason payment is improper: Unreasonable expense for personal transportation

Amount: $406.21

Date: Dec. 14, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Grotto Las Vegas

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals were separately charged to the AHCA via voucher.

Amount: $100

Date: Dec. 14, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: La Salsa Cantina

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher. Charge also improperly includes alcoholic beverages.

Amount: $96.86

Date: Dec. 12, 2012

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Chili’s

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher. Charge also improperly includes alcoholic beverages.

San Diego, California, January 2013

Amount: $2,178.67

Date: Jan. 7, 2013

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Wilson voucher for mileage, lodging for six days and meals for 10 days

Reason payment is improper: Voucher improperly charges six days of lodging and 10 days of meals when training only lasted four days. Voucher also constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged to ACHA credit card.

Amount: $2,178.67

Date: Jan. 7, 2013

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Franklin voucher for mileage, lodging for six days and meals for 10 days

Reason payment is improper: Voucher improperly charges six days of lodging and 10 days of meals when training only lasted four days. Voucher also constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged to ACHA credit card.

Amount: $495.40

Date: Jan. 17, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Hilton San Diego

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging expenses were charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $564.13

Date: Jan. 17, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Hilton San Diego

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging expenses were charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $495.40

Date: Jan. 17, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Hilton San Diego

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging expenses were charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $270.18

Date: Jan. 18, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Embassy Suites Downton San Diego

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging expenses were charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $270.18

Date: Jan. 18, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Embassy Suites Downton San Diego

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging expenses were charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $270.18

Date: Jan. 18, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Embassy Suites Downton San Diego

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging expenses were charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $290

Date: Jan. 15, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals were separately charged to ACHA via voucher.

Las Vegas, Nevada, March 2013

Amount: $1,759.41

Date: Feb. 19, 2013

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Wilson voucher for mileage, lodging for six days and eight days of meals

Reason payment is improper: Voucher improperly charged to the projects. Voucher also improperly charges for six days of lodging and eight days of meals even though the training only lasted three days. Finally, voucher constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged to ACHA credit card.

Amount: $1,203.81

Date: Feb. 19, 2013

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Franklin voucher for mileage, lodging for six days and eight days of meals

Reason payment is improper: Voucher improperly charged to the projects. Voucher also improperly charges for six days of lodging and eight days of meals even though the training only lasted three days. Finally, voucher constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged to ACHA credit card.

Amount: $281.97

Date: March 8, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Rio Suites (lodging and meals)

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $1,902.89

Date: March 8, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Rio Suites (lodging and meals)

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $245.61

Date: March 8, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Rio Suites

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $232.96

Date: March 8, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Rio Suites

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $232.96

Date: March 8, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Rio Suites

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $232.96

Date: March 8, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Rio Suites

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $232.96

Date: March 8, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Rio Suites

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as meals and lodging were separately charged to the ACHA via voucher.

Clearwater, Florida, March 2013

Amount: $768.65

Date: March 11, 2013

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Wilson voucher for mileage, lodging for two days and meals for eight days.

Reason payment is improper: Voucher improperly charged to the projects.

Amount: $768.65

Date: March 11, 2013

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Franklin voucher for mileage, lodging for two days and meals for eight days.

Reason payment is improper: Voucher improperly charged to the projects.

Amount: $1,248.38

Date: March 20, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Sheraton Hotels — Sand Key

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to ACHA via voucher.

Amount: $1,196

Date: March 20, 2013

Type of Payment: Credit Card

Description: Sheraton Hotels — Sand Key

Reason payment is improper: Expense constitutes a double-charge as lodging was separately charged to ACHA via voucher.

New Orleans, Louisiana, June 2014

Amount: $927.20

Date: May 20, 2014

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Wilson voucher for mileage and meals for five days

Reason payment is improper: Payment was improper as James Wilson was no longer employed by the ACHA.

Total: $41,755.30

Travel allegations of liability against Franklin only

New Orleans, Louisiana, June 2014

Amount: $927.20

Date: May 20, 2014

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Voucher for Martha Franklin to travel to New Orleans. Voucher claims mileage and meals for five days.

Reason payment is improper: Voucher was improperly charged to the projects.

Tampa, Florida, July 2014

Amount: $1,040.65

Date: July 15, 2014

Type of Payment: Voucher

Description: Voucher for Martha Franklin to travel to Tampa. Voucher claims mileage, lodging for two days and meals for six days.

Reason payment is improper: Voucher was improperly charged to the projects.

Total: $1,967.85


Crime-and-courts
top story
Jackson County
Suspect in Carbondale burned body case forces attorney to withdraw, likely creating more delays

MURPHYSBORO — A woman charged in the death of Robin L. Stief has impelled her attorney to withdraw from her case.

Tiesha D. Anderson, 23, is one of three suspects charged in connection with a burned body found in Carbondale in August 2016.

Anderson was expected to submit a plea Thursday following negotiations. Instead, Anderson’s court-appointed defense attorney, Thomas Mansfield, entered a motion to withdraw, saying Anderson had filed a letter with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee calling his competency into question.

Mansfield denied the validity of Anderson’s complaint but said it would be best for the court to appoint a new attorney, as the letter to the ARDC creates a conflict.

Provided by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office 

Anderson

Anderson claimed in her letter that Mansfield was “doing nothing to help” her case and that he was not making her adequately aware of what was going on in the proceedings, Mansfield said.

Mansfield said those complaints had “no basis in fact” and that he had consulted with Anderson 18 times in Jackson County Jail, had consulted with Anderson’s family at least four times and had spent 60 hours reviewing “voluminous” discovery materials in the case.

Jackson County Assistant State’s Attorney Casey Bloodworth, who is handling prosecution, expressed agreement that there was nothing to support Anderson’s complaints against Mansfield. He said the letter was “nothing more than a delay tactic” and an attempt to frustrate the trial process.

Anderson raised her hand and spoke — against the advice of Associate Judge Ralph Bloodworth. She said she “just wanted to point out” that several letters and phone calls to Mansfield had gone unanswered. Mansfield reiterated his denial of her complaints.

Ralph Bloodworth granted the request to withdraw but noted that Mansfield has practiced for many years in the area and has “handled many types of cases in a competent manner.”

The judge asked whether Anderson would hire an attorney. When Anderson said she did not have the money to do so, he said the court would appoint a new one, warning that it would take time to find one and for the new attorney to get up to speed in the case.

Anderson has been incarcerated in Jackson County Jail since October 2016.

An indictment by a Jackson County grand jury alleges that on Aug. 29, 2016, Anderson, acting in concert with others, killed Stief by hitting her on the head with a hammer, strangling and suffocating her.

Anderson faces two counts of first-degree murder and one count of concealment of a homicidal death, which charges that she knowingly concealed Stief’s death by placing her body in trash can in a wooded area off East Main Street in Carbondale and setting the remains on fire.

Anderson now has a case management conference scheduled for 10:15 a.m. on Jan. 19, 2018. Her co-defendant Robert Dennis is scheduled for a fitness status hearing at 10 a.m. on Jan. 19, 2018. The third defendant, Lauren Stinde, is set for a judge review on Dec. 15.

This story previously referred to Thomas Mansfield as a public defender. Mansfield is a private criminal defense attorney who was appointed by the court to represent Tiesha Anderson because the Jackson County Public Defender’s Office had a conflict of interest. The Southern regrets the error.


Provided by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office 

Anderson