Dean Pleads Not Guilty, Murder Trial Set For May

By Benjamin Cox on February 14, 2020 at 9:24am

Brown County may see its first murder trial in quite some time. In an arraignment hearing yesterday, 40 year old John M. Dean of Mt. Sterling plead not guilty to first degree murder in the shooting death of 44 year old Rebeccaa Niewohner.

Niewohner was a substitute teacher in Meredosia and the Mt. Sterling area. (Picture Courtesy of

First responders found Niewohner dead and Dean injured in the 400 block of East Chestnut Street in Mt. Sterling around 9:20 p.m. on June 14th last year. Dean spent significant time in a Springfield hospital due to injuries.

In charging documents, Dean is alleged to have shot Niewohner with a .45 caliber handgun without lawful justification and with intent to kill.

Dean will appear in a jury trial on May 18th at 9AM in Brown County court. Any discovery of evidence is to be exchanged prior to March 13th, and all motions are due in court by April 16th with a pre-trial hearing schedule on April 23rd. Dean remains out on bond in home confinement with GPS monitoring at his residence in Mt. Sterling.