Shelbyville Daily Union

Local News

March 21, 2014

DeRyke pleads guilty to killing niece

EFFINGHAM — Justin D. DeRyke pled guilty Tuesday to the stabbing death of his niece, 7-year-old Willow Long of Watson in September of 2013.

According to Effingham County State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler, DeRyke’s guilty plea was accepted by the Honorable Kimberly G. Koester, Circuit Judge, who pronounced a mandatory life sentence, without the possibility of parole, on the 22-year-old defendant.

DeRyke has been held in custody since confessing to the murder hours after volunteer searchers found the child’s body in a pond south of Watson in Effingham County. An Effingham County Grand Jury indicted DeRyke on September 18, 2013, charging that he, “without legal justification, and with the intent to kill, stabbed Willow Long in the clavicle...thereby causing the death of Willow Long.”

“Justin DeRyke’s plea of guilty to the offense of First Degree Murder means that society will be protected, and the murderer will spend the rest of his life behind bars,” said Kibler. “The sentence in this case is the maximum allowed by law.”

“Justin DeRyke will never again pose a threat to any child,” Kibler said.

Kibler credited local agents Tim Brown and Jeff Kline of the Illinois State Police, the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department, and Effingham County Coroner Duane Guffey, among a multitude of law enforcement officers, who worked to resolve the case.

Kibler also credited the thousands of volunteers who came forward to assist in the September 2013 search efforts for the child.

“Our hearts were broken by the discover of Willow Long’s body,” said Kibler, “But, the way that the good citizens of Effingham County reached out to one another in the seach for this innocent child will never be forgotten.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Driver Standings 1. Jeff Gordon 717 2. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 693 3. Brad Keselowski 666 4. Matt Kenseth 661 5. Jimmie Johnson 628 6. Kyle Busch 609 7. Ryan Newman 606 8. Carl Edwards 603 9. Joey Logano 591 10. Clint Bowyer 577 11. Kevin Harvick 565 12. Kyle Larson 56

    August 1, 2014

  • AmeriCorps NCCC provide help to Trails for Illinois Shelbyville, IL – On Sunday, August 3, AmeriCorps NCCC Corps members are hosting a community service day at the Little Chief Illini Trail where the team will build a trail with volunteers and teach the benefits that trails bring to a community’s econ

    August 1, 2014

  • 080114 Obit-Carter photo Judith Carter Shelbyville Judith Elaine (Mose) Carter, 64, of Shelbyville, IL, passed away at 4:11 p.m. Sunday, July 27, 2014, in St. John’s Memorial Hospital in Springfield, IL.Judy was born April 16, 1950 in Vandalia, IL the daughter of James W. and Gladys Spencer Mose.She

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gordon is Mr. Brickyard, Ties Schumacher Jeff Gordon tied Michael Schumacher for most wins ever at the famous Indianapolis Speedway with a win on Sunday. For Gordon is was his fifth trip to kiss the bricks. Schumacher had won five races in the United States Grand Prix which raced their fr

    August 1, 2014

  • Pana shooting leaves suspect dead, officer wounded

     Illinois authorities have identified a man who shot and wounded a police officer before being killed by troopers during an exchange of gunfire.

    July 29, 2014

  • Drowning victim identified

    A weekend drowning victim has been identified by the Shelby County Sheriff's office.

    July 28, 2014

  • Heroin addiction in Illinois: A community problem of epidemic proportions In Illinois, heroin addiction is a growing problem. Overdose and deaths as a result of heroin abuse are issues now faced by every community in our State. No small town is exempt from this growing epidemic. Today, towns such as: Stewardson, Beecher Ci

    July 28, 2014

  • 072914 trail work pic 2 Local volunteers assist AmeriCorps workers on Illini Trail The AmeriCorps NCCC crew got a boost of help on July 19 from community volunteers to work on the Chief Illini Trail at Lake Shelbyville.The crew is rehabilitating the trail, which has been neglected over time. The 11-mile hiking trail runs between Lo

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sherry Kay Spitzner Flora Sherry Kay Spitzner, 54, of Flora passed away at 4:29 a.m. Friday (July 25, 2014) at the Clay County Hospital, Flora.Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday in the Lockart-Green Funeral Home, Cowden with Pastor Mark Smith officiating. Vis

    July 28, 2014

  • Drowning death reported

    A Shelbyville woman is the apparently victim of a drowning Sunday morning.

    July 27, 2014