Van Avery trial stays in preliminary hearing after defendant won’t cooperate with mental fitness examination

By Benjamin Cox on August 7, 2018 at 5:41pm

The alleged case of murder involving a South Jacksonville man remains in the preliminary hearing stage.

24 year old Glenn Van Avery, of the 1300 block of South Diamond, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing pending a mental health examination by Dr. Terry Killian.

Morgan County State’s Attorney Gray Noll gives details as to why Van Avery’s preliminary hearing was continued.

“Glenn Van Avery appeared in court this morning for a scheduled preliminary hearing, which has now been continued until September 4th at 10 a.m. When the defendant last appeared in court, the judge ordered that he receive what is called a fitness examination. According to information provided by Van Avery’s attorney today, the defendant did not cooperate too much with the evaluation, which has therefore not been completed. The judge ordered the preliminary hearing continued and urged the defendant to cooperate with the examination, trying to make him understand that his cooperation can only help him at this time.”

Glenn Van Avery has been formally charged with three counts of first degree murder in the death of his mother, 53 year old Ruth Van Avery, as well as one count of attempted murder in regards to an insuing attack on Glenn’s brother Garrick.

One other major sentence was handed down in County Court this morning. 35 year old Jennifer Gaines, of Chatham, was set for a status hearing this morning. However, after being advised by Public Defender Tom Piper, Gaines reversed her not guilty plea and entered a plea of guilty for a 2017 unlawful delivery of methamphetamine. State’s Attorney Noll explains.

“Jennifer Gaines was in court this morning for two separate methamphetamine-related offenses. The first was from 2016. Gaines had already plead guilty and was sentenced at that time to probation. That probation sentence was revoked and terminated today, and there were no further punishments called for in regards to the probation violation. The 2017 case Ms. Gaines appeared in court for today was to establish the status of the defense’s stance. When called upon, Ms. Gaines plead guilty and was sentenced to 5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and two years mandatory supervised release immediately after.”

In addition, three men accepted waivers of extradition and were scheduled to be moved from the custody of the state of Illinois. 57 year old Billy Wagner, of Salem, and 34 year old Anthony Thurman (no city or state of residence listed) were both extradited to Indiana, and 31 year old Cody Sheehan, of Quincy, was extradited to Missouri.