Plea Deal Reached in 2019 Pike County Murder

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 29, 2021 at 3:18pm

Pittsfield Police Chief Mike Starman and Pike County State’s Attorney Zack Boren announced this morning 25-year-old William K. Poor of Pittsfield has pleaded guilty in the death of 26-year-old Joshua Witherbee, also of Pittsfield.

Poor was accused of beating Witherbee to death in connection to a fight in the 300 block of Landess Terrace in a 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. According to this morning’s announcement, DNA evidence found in the home linked Poor to the murder.

Poor appeared in Pike County Court on Thursday of last week and plead guilty to a negotiated plea to second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. Poor was sentenced to 17.5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Poor was given credit for 730 days served.