Newswatch Update on Murder Case

Published: Sep. 15, 2005 at 8:52 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2005 at 12:28 PM CDT
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Reporter: Stefanie Silvey

There are new details in an Illinois murder case.

Three of five people charged in the murder of a young soldier were in court Thursday. And as Newswatch's Stefanie Silvey found out, it appears that a young man, Joshua Bennett, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In court while reading a summary of the state's case against the suspects, the judge said it was actually a woman, Lindsey Kasinger, who the five conspired to kill. Family and friends tell Newswatch that Kasinger lived at 175 East Fair Street in Claremont with her boyfriend Jackie Jackson.

Also living there was his father and his father's fiance, Jaqueline Bennett. Bennett was stabbed in the attack. Also stabbed was her son Joshua, a U.S. soldier who was there visiting his mother. He died in the attack.

Friends and family also told me one of the suspects, Irenia Lamb Cotner, used to date Jackie Jackson. Assistant State's Attorney Todd Rietz, however, would not confirm that Thursday. "No, I really can't. We can't get into the motives or anything of that nature."

They say the others accused in this crime worked with her at Wal-Mart. Rietz says, "I do know that some worked there, as for all five I can't confirm that they all did." Other details released Thursday in court are that the victim, Joshua Bennett was maced in the face, before being stabbed in the heart.

The state says Oscar Eck and another man, who was shot in the attack, David Lindner, were in the house, but wouldn't say if the three women accused were. Rietz says, "I can just indicate that we believe Ms. Wolfe, Ms.Gangloff and Ms. Cotner were involved and have been charged the same as if they were the principles."

Defense attorney Mervin Wolfe says, "There is a presumption of innocence that flows with this and that is the way we deal with it."

The state has yet to decide if they will seek the death penalty in this case. Rietz says, "Obviously that is a very, very big decision to make and we want to make sure we put forth the time and effort before we make it."

As for the other two defendants: Misty Gangloff had a preliminary hearing earlier this week. David Lindner remains in serious condition at a St. Louis hospital recovering from a gunshot wound, police say he got during the attack.