Charges against Coston include aggravated sexual assault, murder

Published: Sep. 4, 2012 at 2:30 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2012 at 2:30 PM CDT
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Danny K. Coston (Courtesy: White County Sheriff's Office)
Danny K. Coston (Courtesy: White County Sheriff's Office)
A White County, Illinois man has been charged with multiple counts of first degree murder. 

36-year-old Danny Coston is accused of killing Jessica Evans and Jacob Wheeler.

On Tuesday, we learned the state's attorney believes Coston also sexually assaulted Evans.

The murders of Jessica Evans and Jacob Wheeler have had a huge impact on the small community of Carmi, much of White County, and the surrounding area.

There are still many questions that remain, but those formal charges that were filed on Tuesday do shed some light on things.
Court was crowded this morning as Coston made his first appearance.

Jacob Wheeler's father, Harold, made sure to be there.

When asked what it was like seeing him face-to-face, Harold said, "Oh, I wanted to get a hold of him, it was hard. But that's fatherly love for his kids."

Like the sheriff and state's attorney, Harold Wheeler knows Danny Coston.

"Been down at my house. I've been at his house, didn't strike me to do something like this," Harold said.

He certainly didn't expect to be saying goodbye to his 22-year-old son so soon.

A young man he says recently spent three years in Iraq with the Army.

"He comes home, goes fishing on a bank he's fished all his life and he gets killed. Come home from service not a scratch. That ain't right," Harold said.

White County State's Attorney T. Scott Webb filed the formal charges against Coston.

There are nine counts in all, five of them for first degree murder.

"In Illinois, you can charge murder several different ways and that's essentially what I did," Webb said.

The sixth charge is aggravated criminal sexual assault against Jessica Evans.

"It states in there that there was sexual intercourse involved and it was done through force with a gun basically. So you can deduce from that whatever you will," Webb said.

Coston did not speak as he was led to and from the courthouse, but Harold is letting his voice be heard.

He wants justice for Jessica and his son.

"I'm going to be at every trial until he's sentenced. I'm not missing a one," Harold said.

Jacob Wheeler's family tells 14 News that visitation will be from 5:00-8:00 p.m. tonight at Campell's Funeral Home and that a funeral service will take place Wednesday morning at First Christian Church at 10:30 a.m.

Now, while this is all still going on the sheriff here in White County says their investigation isn't finished yet.

For now, Coston will remain in White County Jail on $3 million bond.

Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.