Wilson Murder Trial Dec. Start Date Cancelled After Defense Requests More Evidence

By Jeremy Coumbes on December 2, 2022 at 3:25pm

A murder trial that was set to being in Morgan County this month has been pushed back into the new year.

39-year-old Joshua E. Wilson of Jacksonville is accused of shooting 26-year-old Malcolm V. Fitts of Chicago in the early morning hours of February 28th of last year in the 800 block of Hoagland Boulevard.

Prior to a final pre-trial hearing in Morgan County Court today, Wilson’s attorney, Michael Schantz filed for a continuance in the case seeking additional evidence.

Macoupin County Judge Kenneth Diehl who is overseeing the case granted the defense’s requests and canceled the jury trial that had been scheduled to start on December 13th.

Morgan County State’s Attorney Gray Noll says the defense filed additional motions for discovery of evidence in the case. “That was based on the defendant’s request for a continuance. He also filed a motion for some additional discovery today involving some video evidence from some surveillance cameras.

The State previously turned over all of the surveillance footage that was relevant to the situation, but Mr. Wilson through his attorney is requesting some additional surveillance, should it be available.”

Noll told the court his office was happy to comply with the request however he does not know if the additional footage exists after Shantz requested a full ten hours of tape around the footage of when Fitts was killed.

The defense also believes they are missing portions of the video that had been submitted to them. Noll says the portions that are requested also likely do not exist.

There was some discussion about whether or not the video was recorded accurately at the time of the event. There is some skipping of time, but that is based off of the fact that the cameras are motion activated. They aren’t cameras that record the entire time. They are cameras that only start recording if there is movement. I think there was some confusion about that.”

This isn’t the first time an issue with evidence has delayed the case. In August Schantz told the court that an envelope of discovery that was supposed to contain evidence loaded on a flash drive arrived at his office empty.

The envelope was sent after Noll said his office has given Schantz the discovery materials in a format that was not comparable with Schantz’s software. The evidence was then given to Schantz again in person following that August hearing.

Wilson remains held at the Morgan County Jail on a $1 million bond. A new status hearing has been set in the case for January 20th, at 2:00 pm.