Union County State's Attorney's Office

State’s Attorney Releases 2016 Annual Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 24, 2016

State’s Attorney Releases 2016 Annual Report

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today the release of the State’s Attorney’s Office 2016 Annual Report.  Highlights of the report include:

  • 3376 total cases filed; 251 felonies filed; 54 sentenced to Prison
  • Collected over $300,000 in fines and fees from criminal defendants including over $37,000 in restitution to crime victims
  • Provided services and assistance to over 570 crime victims
  • Office expenditures almost $13,000 under budget

The report also includes a variety of information regarding case filings and outlines the structure, staffing and funding of the office.  The Annual Report may be accessed in PDF format on the Union County State’s Attorney website at www.unioncountyil.gov/sa

A copy of the Annual Report is attached to this release.

State’s Attorney Reminds Public Regarding Tax Refund Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 9, 2017

State’s Attorney Reminds Public Regarding Tax Refund Fraud

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds is alerting the public regarding identity theft and tax refund fraud associated with April’s tax filing deadline.  Tax refund fraud commonly occurs when stolen identity information is used to file a tax return in the victim’s name and the thief then obtains the refund that would be due to the victim.  Tax refund fraud has previously been reported in Union County and the State’s Attorney’s Office urges the public to protect identifying documents and information as the tax deadline approaches.  The IRS has completed its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams with a warning to taxpayers about aggressive telephone scams continuing from coast-to-coast during this filing season.  Along with aggressive and threatening phone calls, e-mail phishing schemes are among the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams.  Members of the public with questions or reporting suspicious activity may call the Union County State’s Attorney’s Office at 618-833-7216 or the IRS toll-free at 1-800-908-4490.

The IRS list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams include the following:

  • Phone Scams: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to tax payers.  The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as scam artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and license revocation, among other things.
  • Phishing: Taxpayers need to be on guard against fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. The IRS will not send taxpayers an email about a bill or refund out of the blue. Don’t click on one claiming to be from the IRS. Taxpayers should be wary of strange emails and websites that may be nothing more than scams to steal personal information.
  • Return Preparer Fraud: Taxpayers need to be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers. The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest high-quality service. But there are some dishonest preparers who set up shop each filing season to perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers.  Legitimate tax professionals are a vital part of the U.S. tax system.
  • Inflated Refund Claims: Taxpayers need to be on the lookout for anyone promising inflated refunds. Taxpayers should be wary of anyone who asks them to sign a blank return, promise a big refund before looking at their records, or charge fees based on a percentage of the refund. Scam artists use flyers, advertisements, phony store fronts and word of mouth via community groups where trust is high to find victims.
  • Fake Charities: Taxpayers should be on guard against groups masquerading as charitable organizations to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors. Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations.  Contributors should take a few extra minutes to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate and currently eligible charities. IRS.gov has the tools taxpayers need to check out the status of charitable organizations.

Additional information is also available online at www.unioncountyil.gov/sa and at www.irs.gov/identitytheft.  The full list of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams is available at https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/dirty-dozen

McClure Man Sentenced to Prison for Possession of Stolen Vehicle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 26, 2017

McClure Man Sentenced to Prison for Possession of Stolen Vehicle

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today that Gabriel M. Rhymer (DOB 6/20/1994) of McClure has been sentenced to six (6) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to one (1) count of Unlawful Possession of Stolen Vehicle, a Class 2 Felony.  Rhymer will also serve three (3) years of Mandatory Supervised Release (formerly known as Parole).  Rhymer was arrested in April 2015 by law enforcement officers.  Rhymer possessed of a vehicle that was stolen out of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  Rhymer is convicted of a Class 2 Felony but sentenced as a Class X offender based upon two prior Class 2 Felony convictions.

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

January Is National Stalking Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 6, 2017

January Is National Stalking Awareness Month

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds is alerting the public that January is National Stalking Awareness Month – a time to focus on a crime that affected 7.5 million victims in one year.  The theme, “Stalking: Know It.  Name It.  Stop It.” challenges the nation to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it.

The National Center for Victims of Crime started Stalking Awareness Month in 2004. Stalking is defined as a “pattern of behavior that makes you feel afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger” and can involve repeated physical or verbal contact, unwanted gifts, communication as well as threats and other harmful conduct. The majority of stalking victims are women, as women are three times more likely to be stalked in their lifetime compared to men.

Stalking is most often committed by someone the victim knows personally, such as a previous or current intimate partner. The Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report found that 3 out of 4 victims knew their stalker on a personal level.

Since the rise of technology, stalking has expanded into multiple forms. Stalkers not only employ social media and texting as a means to contact the victim, they can also monitor their victim’s computer use and internet history through spyware software.

Stalking is a crime punishable by law in all 50 states. Victims can access support and help from victim services support agencies, crisis hotlines, police, protection from abuse court orders, domestic violence programs and sexual assault programs.

The Union County State’s Attorney’s Office encourages community members to report incidents of stalking and promote awareness and public education about stalking during the annual observance.

For more information, please contact the State’s Attorney’s Office at 618-833-7216.  Additional information is also available at www.stalkingawarenessmonth.org and www.ovw.usdoj.gov.

Charleston Missouri Man Sentenced to Prison for Aggravated DUI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 15, 2016

Charleston Missouri Man Sentenced to Prison for Aggravated DUI

 Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today that Travis A. Williams (DOB 08/01/1976) of Charleston, Missouri has been sentenced to three (3) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on one (1) count of Aggravated Driving a Vehicle While Under the Influence, a Class 2 Felony. Williams will also serve a two (2) year period of Mandatory Supervised Release (formerly known as Parole).  Williams was arrested for DUI by Illinois State Police on December 16, 2015 following a traffic stop on interstate I-57 southbound, milepost 38 in Union County, Illinois.  The DUI charge was elevated based on Williams having committed a violation of a subsection of Section 11-501 or a similar provision for the fourth time.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Daniel Klingemann.

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

Olive Branch Man Sentenced to 20 years for Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 23, 2016

Olive Branch Man Sentenced to 20 years for Child Pornography

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today that Thomas Keith Gowin (DOB 04-29-1957) of 21384 Center Street in Olive Branch has been sentenced in the Circuit Court of Union County to twenty (20) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to one (1) count of Child Pornography, a Class X Felony.  Gowin will also serve a term of Mandatory Supervised Release (formerly known as parole) of three (3) years to life and be required to register as sex offender for life.

Gowin was arrested in March 2016 after investigation by the Union County Sheriff’s Office and Illinois State Police showed that Gowin created a pornographic film of a child at a rural Union County residence between March 2015 and March 2016.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation provided assistance to investigators and the Two Rivers Child Advocacy Center in Anna facilitated interview of the victim.

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

Jonesboro Man Sentenced to Prison for Residential Burglary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 2, 2016

Jonesboro Man Sentenced to Prison for Residential Burglary

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today that MICHAEL WAYNE DUNHAM (DOB 10/10/1974) of Jonesboro has been sentenced to Eight (8) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to one (1) count of Residential Burglary, a Class 1 Felony. Dunham will also serve three (3) years of Mandatory Supervised Release (formerly known as parole). Dunham was sentenced as a Class X Offender based upon prior criminal convictions. Dunham was arrested in September 2016 following an investigation by the Union County Sheriff’s Office. Dunham burglarized a residence in the Fair City area of rural Jonesboro.

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

State’s Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office to Monitor Union County Polling Places on Election Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 31, 2016

State’s Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office to
Monitor Union County Polling Places on Election Day

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds and Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel announced today that their offices will again be monitoring Union County polling places on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2016.  Prosecutors and Sheriff’s investigators will visit polling places throughout the County to ensure that voting rights are protected and that no improper activity occurs in or around polling places.  State’s Attorney and Sheriff personnel will be monitoring for anyone campaigning in or around polling places or otherwise interfering with the election process.  The State’s Attorney’s Office and Sherriff’s Office will be working closely with Union County Clerk Terry Bartruff to respond to any suspected violations of the Illinois Election Code.  The public is reminded that violators could be arrested and face significant fines and jail or prison time.  Possible criminal violations could include:

  • Active campaigning and solicitation of votes in the polling place or within the 100 foot campaign free zone of the polling place.
  • Voters who try to leave the polling place with a ballot.
  • Impersonating a registered voter.
  • Payment for a vote.
  • Tampering with voting equipment.
  • Illegal casting of votes.
  • Interfering with the voting process.
  • Harassing the election judges.
  • Harassing the voters.
  • Illegal voter assistance or instruction.

 The public is also reminded of their rights regarding the election process:

  • If a voter’s registration is active and current, the voter does not need to show identification to vote.
  • If a voter makes a mistake or “spoils” a paper ballot and the voter has not cast the ballot, the voter has the right to receive a replacement ballot.
  • If a voter cannot read, has trouble understanding English, or has a disability, that voter has the right to request assistance from anyone other than his or her employer, an agent of his or her employer, or an officer or agent of his or her union.
  • Voters have the right to register to vote and cast their vote at the same time up to and including on Election Day. Same-day registration and voting is available at the Union County Courthouse, 309 West Market Street, Jonesboro, not at regular polling places.

Polls will be open on Election Day from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.  Members of the public who have questions or concerns regarding activities taking place at any Union County polling place should contact the Union County Clerk’s Office at 833-5711, the Union County State’s Attorney’s Office at 833-7216 or the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 833-5500.

Concerns may also be addressed to:

Illinois State Board of Elections
(217) 782-4141

Illinois Attorney General
1-(800) 559-6812

US Attorney – Southern District of Illinois
(618) 628-3700

FBI
(618) 397-4401

US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
1-(800)-253-3931
voting.section@usdoj.gov

Anna Man Sentenced to Prison for Domestic Battery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 7, 2016

Anna Man Sentenced to Prison for Domestic Battery

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today that Joseph H. Silliman (DOB 12/21/1983) of Anna has been sentenced to Eighteen (18) months in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to one (1) count of Domestic Battery, a Class 4 Felony.  Silliman will also serve four (4) years of Mandatory Supervised Release (formerly known as Parole).  Silliman was arrested in June 2016 following an investigation by the Anna Police Department.  Silliman repeatedly struck a family or household member in the head with his fists.  The Domestic Battery charge was elevated to a felony due to Silliman having previously been convicted of Domestic Battery.

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

Anna Man Sentenced to Prison for Aggravated DUI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 6, 2016

Anna Man Sentenced to Prison for Aggravated DUI

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today that Travis E. Farris (DOB 9/16/1987) of Anna, Illinois has been sentenced to two (2) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on one (1) count of Aggravated Driving a Vehicle While Under the Influence, a Class 4 Felony.  Farris will also serve a one (1) year period of Mandatory Supervised Release (formerly known as Parole).  Farris was arrested for DUI by Anna Police on April 4, 2016 following a traffic stop on South Green Street in Anna.  The DUI charge was elevated to a felony based on Driving While License Revoked for a prior DUI conviction.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Daniel Klingemann.

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

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Union County State's Attorney's Office