A Carrollton man accused of concealment of a homicidal death was in court yesterday.
34 year old Ryan Wheeler was in Greene County court yesterday for a status hearing in regards to the case against Wheeler.
An investigation was conducted originally by Alton Police into the death of a six month old child and the child’s mother, 22 year old Jamia Ellis of Alton. With assistance by Carrollton Police and the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the six month old child was found in a wooded area near Wheeler’s place of residence in Carrollton.
Wheeler faces one count of concealing a homicidal death in regards to this discovery.
Two interesting motions were made yesterday by defense attorney Norbert Goetten.
Greene County State’s Attorney Caleb Briscoe explains the motion heard yesterday.
“Two weeks ago, Ryan Wheeler’s attorney, Norbert Goetten, filed a motion to have his client considered for veteran’s court disposition. Every circuit has one of those, but ours is based in Sangamon County. We have not officially sentenced anybody to veteran’s court in Greene County, so we asked the judge for some time to look into that and determine if that would be a viable option for the defense to argue. Mr. Goetten and I spoke to representatives in Sangamon County, who informed us that would not be an available disposition.”
State’s Attorney Briscoe explains the fact that resources for veterans court are scarce.
“It’s something that every county should be working toward. I think what you’re going to find in a lot of the smaller counties in the state that you’re going to run into the same problem that we’re having with this veteran’s court. There are a lot of resources that are needed to properly offer this type of court. There’s the probation and state’s attorney’s office and public defender’s office and the judge, but then there is access to people at the VA and treatment providers. It’s hard to get the treatment providers to work with us because they’re understaffed as well, so it’s pretty difficult.”
A bill passed into state compiled statutes that all counties have a veterans court per the Veteran’s Court Treatment Act. All counties were required to have this set by January of 2018.
State’s Attorney Briscoe details another motion filed yesterday by the defense attorney.
“Mr. Goetten filed another motion yesterday right before court, so we haven’t addressed that motion yet. The motion is attempting to get Wheeler some drug treatment while he is awaiting trial. We did set another status hearing for two weeks from now where that motion may be heard. We’re also still in negotiations for a possible disposition. We are set for trial in July in this case.”
Concealing a homicidal death is a Class 3 felony, with a maximum penalty of 5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Probation only is also a possible disposition in the case according to State’s Attorney Briscoe.