HARRISBURG — The suspect in the murder of 19-year-old Mishealia Meredith was captured Tuesday after a two-and-a-half-hour standoff with authorities at a Kentucky motel.
When police arrived, Alexander McWilliam, 36, of Harrisburg, allegedly barricaded himself in a room Tuesday at the Hometown Inn, 551 U.S. 60 in Morganfield, Kentucky, according to a news release from Illinois State Police issued Tuesday afternoon.
McWilliam is being held at the Webster County jail in Kentucky awaiting extradition to Saline County.
He is charged with first-degree murder in the March 13 shooting death of Meredith.
The investigation into Meredith's death is ongoing.
Meredith’s body was found in an agricultural field March 14 in rural Gallatin County after she had been reported missing. McWilliam was named as a suspect by the Illinois State Police later that week.
Gallatin County Coroner Tony Cox told The Southern the initial cause of death was deemed to be a single gunshot wound to the head. The final cause of death will be determined when toxicology and other reports are returned to Cox.
Official details about the case have been few and far between. However, Cox did tell The Southern that the place where Meredith was found was very rural, the nearest home at least half a mile away.
He said he could not think of a reason a person who neither lived nor worked there would have been out there.
Court records show McWilliam, of Harrisburg, was charged in 2018 with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery in a Saline County shooting.
In that case, the court ultimately accepted McWilliams' plea of guilty for the lesser charge of obstructing justice and he was sentenced in April 2019 to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, of which he had to serve at least 50%.
However, because he never bonded out after his 2019 capture, he had accrued 385 days of time served in jail to count toward his sentence.
This led to his seemingly short stay in prison — just 49 days post-plea.
His warrant for the murder of Meredith came on March 17 of this year — within six months of his release.
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