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Coulterville murder suspect held on $5 million bond

Posted on 11/11/2014, 9:00 AM

Coulterville first degree murder suspect William Farnsworth, 61, went before Circuit Judge James Campanella Monday for a first appearance after he shot and killed a former drinking buddy in the driveway of his own home Friday.

Judge Campanella set bond at $5 million with a preliminary hearing set for 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 21 at 11 a.m.

The order further states that Farnsworth is not to go within a mile of his home at 582 Goldenrod Rd. two miles south of Coulterville where the killing took place and that he shall forfeit all weapons that he possesses and any Firearms Owner Identification Card (FOID) that he may have.

Perry County State"s Attorney David Stanton writes in the complaint that Farnsworth "on Nov. 7 , 2014, without lawful justification and with the intent to kill Jeffrey Harris with a firearm, a 12-gauge shotgun, caused the death of Jeffrey Harris."

As a felony murder case, Stanton advised the court that the statutory sentence is 20 years to 60 years incarceration. However, assistant state"s attorney David Searby provided the court with a "Notice of Possible Sentence Enhancements" to a term in prison of natural life.

On Friday November 7, 2014 at approximately 2 p.m., the Perry County Sheriff"s Department received a 911 call in reference to a shooting near Coulterville, in the far northwest corner of Perry County.

Perry County deputies and Pinckneyville Ambulance Service responded to a residence on Goldeneye Rd.

A 51-year-old-male subject identified as Jeff Harris was found deceased in his vehicle, the result of an apparent 12-gauge shotgun wound. Another male subject at the scene was arrested and transported to the Perry County Jail.

Farnsworth was charged with one count of first degree murder. Farnsworth was incarcerated in the Perry County Jail without bond.

Sheriff Keith Kellerman said that Farnsworth and Harris knew each other and that they had apparently been friends and drinking buddies at some point. Harris had apparently done handyman work for Farnsworth. The newspaper understands an argument over money broke out at the VFW. Harris followed Farnsworth home. Farnsworth apparently pulled into his own driveway, got a shotgun from his home , and was waiting for Harris when he pulled in the drive behind him. Farnsworth"s wife called "911" after the shooting. The Du Quoin and Pinckneyville police are assisting the Perry County Sheriff"s Office and coroner"s office in the investigation.

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