Shelbyville Daily Union

Local News

December 5, 2012

Family recalls homicide victim with local ties

SHELBYVILLE, IL. —

MAROA —  Two men have been charged in the murder of a man who spent much of his youth in rural Windsor.

Terris D. Warnsley, 21, of Maroa, is accused of killing Justin Mentzer, 23, also of Maroa. Mentzer, who grew up in Humboldt and spent much of his youth on his grandparents’ Shelby County farm, died as a result of multiple blunt and sharp force injuries to his face and upper body, said Macon County Coroner Michael Day in his autopsy report.

Police also arrested a suspect on Tuesday, just one day after Mentzer’s wife found him in their home at 203 E. Washington St., Lot 1. Douglas W. Taylor, 21, of Maroa, is in the Macon County Jail after a judge set a $10 million bond for him.

Wednesday evening, Mentzer’s dad, Leon Mentzer, remembered his son’s days in Shelby County.

“He spent lots of time down there with his grandparents,” said Mentzer. “Him and his (twin) brother both.

“I’m his father. I just lost my wife. This is a very tough time for me.”

Leon Mentzer was referring to the September death of his wife, Mary (McAllister) Mentzer, whose obituary in the Daily News said she succumbed to a four-month illness. Mary Mentzer was born in Shelbyville and still has family in Shelby County and in Effingham, Leon Mentzer said.

“I only have one left,” said Leon Mentzer who was referring to Justin’s twin brother, Joshua.

Leslie Mentzer discovered her husband’s violently abused body shortly after 7 a.m. Monday when she returned home from work. She called 911 immediately, and the coroner pronounced him dead a short time later.

Warnsley and Taylor face charges of first degree murder, home invasion and aggravated robbery.

Day said Taylor allegedly told police he and Warnsley had been planning to kill Mentzer for three weeks and were planning on taking a Playstation 3, a Playstation Vita and the victim’s laptop from Mentzer’s home. Taylor also allegedly told police he brought a knife and Warnsley brought a hammer into Mentzer’s home and had a secured buyer for the items they intended to steal.

Day said Maroa hasn’t seen a murder in decades.

“I’ve been close to here for a long time. We’ve not had an occurrence like this in 50 to 70 years,” he said. “We’ve not had any confirmed homicide in the area since before then. It’s something no one really expects in this small and cohesive of a community and it just reminds us that the world can be a hard place.”

Leon Mentzer said his son was a caring individual who was trying to turn his life around.

“My son went over to my neighbor’s family’s home for Thanksgiving and cooked them all a Thanksgiving meal,” he said. “That’s just the kind of person he was. Instead of starting a tradition with his family, he was doing that. He was trying. That’s the kind of person he was.”

In 2009, Justin Mentzer was charged with a sexual offense related to child pornography, of which Leon said his son was innocent. Mentzer said his son took the punishment in order to move past the crime. Justin was placed on the Illinois Sex Offender registry.

“My son never did anything bad enough for what happened to him,” Mentzer said. “I’m heartbroken.”

Mentzer said he hopes to get through the tragedy with support of his family.

“I would want to tell those boys who did that that I forgive them, but I just can’t right now,” he said. “We’re going to get through it. We lost someone who would have made a great husband for the long haul.”

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 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

  • Lake Shelbyville tree stand permits available for 2014-15 Lake Shelbyville - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to announce that the Lake Shelbyville Tree Stand Policy for this season will remain the same as it was last season. The policy allows hunters to leave one seasonal tree stand up for the d

    July 24, 2014

  • Aquafest at Dam West Beach Aug. 2 Lake Shelbyville - Aquafest at Dam West Beach is no ordinary day at the beach. The Lake Shelbyville, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be hosting Aquafest for Saturday, August 2, from noon to 4:00 p.m. Children and adults of ages all are welcome to a

    July 24, 2014

  • Shelbyville Edward Jones office to collect school supplies Tad Mayhall, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Shelbyville, is supporting the Shelbyville schools by using his office as a drop-off location for a school supplies drive.Local residents and businesses may help by bringing in items to the Edward Jon

    July 24, 2014

  • SMHGirls Night Out on Know Your Medications SHELBYVILLE, IL, – According to the National Health Institute, close to 40% of Americans receive prescriptions for four or more medications. Medication is a powerful tool in a healthcare professional’s tool kit, but when combined with over-the-counte

    July 21, 2014

  • Correction

    In the story "Eagle Scout rebuilds Illini Trail bridge" (July 18), the carpenter who helped on the project was Doug Martin, not Doug Hall.

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Poll

Should the minimum wage for workers be raised in Illinois?

Yes
No
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium