Man Accused of Killing DCFS Worker To Go To Trial in January

By Benjamin Cox on December 29, 2023 at 12:45pm

The trial for a man accused of killing a DCFS case worker in early 2022 is set to head to trial next year.

The State Journal Register reports that 34-year old Benjamin H. Reed appeared in a Sangamon County Court Room on Wednesday to request a bench trial.

Reed is accused of stabbing and bludgeoning to death 36-year old Deidre Silas of Springfield, an Illinois Department of Child and Family Services case worker who had responded to Reed’s home in the 300 block of West Elm Street in Thayer on January 4, 2022. Silas had responded to a report of children in danger at the address. Six children, ages 1 to 7, were present at the time with a number of other adults, according to Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell at the time. Law enforcement had to forceful entry into the home, and found Silas dead inside alone.

Reed was later located by Decatur Police at St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur and taken into custody later in the day and has remained at the Sangamon County Jail ever since.

A court filing from Tuesday obtained by the SJR notified the State that Reed “may assert the affirmative defense of insanity.” The defense is expected to rely heavily upon testimony from psychologist Dr. Terry Killian of Springfield. Killian conducted a forensic psychiatric evaluation of Reed in October, according to the court filing.

Reed faces the possibility of 20 years to life in prison. The sentence is enhanced because Silas was a state employee in the course of duty.

Reed is due back in court Jan. 5 before the trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 8th.