A murder trial in Pike County is delayed because the defendant has refused to appear for teleconferencing. 34 year old William K Poor of Meredosia is accused of beating to death 26 year old Joshua Witherbee of Pittsfield in connection to a fight in the 300 block of Landess Terrace in Pittsfield residence in March 2019. Witherbee was taken to Illini Hospital in Pittsfield and later transferred to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield where he died two days later.
Poor was originally charged with aggravated battery and obstruction of justice by destroying evidence in the case, but additional charges were later upgraded to 2 counts of first degree murder after Witherbee’s death. Pittsfield police served a search warrant at Poor’s home on West Perry Street in Pittsfield after the fight and allegedly found bloody clothing.
Poor’s original defense had filed several motions to block evidence in the case and had further delays after COVID-19 severely limited jury calls in the state in March and April. Poor is currently serving 4 years in prison after failing to return from work furlough due to a felony domestic battery conviction in June 2018.
Pike County State’s Attorney Zachary Boren told WLDS News Friday afternoon that Poor has further delayed the case by choosing to defend himself in court and has asked multiple times to change the judge presiding over the case. Poor, while in Illinois Department of Corrections custody on Wednesday, refused to appear in Zoom Conferencing for an arraignment and status hearing. The court has denied Poor’s motions in every case. Poor must appear at all of Zoom Conferencing for the remainder of the case or Boren says that Poor will be in contempt of court.
Poor must appear by Zoom Conferencing because the Illinois Department of Corrections refuses to bring him to Pike County Court because of a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility where he is currently lodged. Boren says that he doesn’t feel there will be anymore delays in the case after the judge’s order to appear.