Cass County Shooting Suspect Charged with Six Counts of First Degree Murder

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 13, 2021 at 6:01am

71 year old Robert D. Harris of Virginia, Illinois was charged Tuesday with six counts of frist degree murder in Cass County.

A Virginia man is facing murder charges in the wake of the shooting that left two people dead and another injured Sunday.

71 year old Robert D. Harris of Virgina was charged Tuesday with six counts of first degree murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of aggravated assault with a firearm.

Harris was arrested on Sunday in rural Morgan County after Cass County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the scene of a shooting in the 100 block of South East Street in Virginia just after 1:00 pm.

68 year old Kathleen G. Wzientek of Virginia and 64 year old Brenda G. Crum of rural Virginia were pronounced dead at the scene. A third victim, David Miller no age given was injured.

According to a Jacksonville Journal Courier report, charging documents filed by Cass County State’s Attorney Craig Miller allege that Harris “discharged a firearm” “without lawful justification and with intent to kill” Wzientek and Crum, and that he also discarged a firearm in the direction of David Miller, shooting him in the head with a .22 caliber handgun.

Miller says each first degree murder count carries a sentence of 20 to 60 years, and if found guilty, Harris will have to serve 100% of the sentence. Miller says there is an automatic sentencing of natural life because there was more than one victim involved and because a firearm was discharged, the charges also carry an automatic 25 year enhancement.

Harris also faces a possible 6 to 30 year penalty with an enhancement for use of a firearm in the attempted murder charge, and 6 to 30 years if found guilty of aggravated assault.

Harris is scheduled to appear in court at 9:00 am on January 20th. He is currently being held at the Morgan County Jail without bond pending a Bischof evaluation, used to assess risk when a domestic relationship is involved in criminal allegations.