Double homicide suspect arrested in Gillespie

Double homicide suspect arrested in Gillespie

ROCKBRIDGE (Sept. 13, 2018) – Illinois State Police Zone 6 investigators are investigating a double homicide that took place at approximately 10:38 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 9, at 585 State Road in Rockbridge, a small village in Greene County.

According to information released by ISP Master Sergeant Craig Nolan, brothers Ronald Plummer, 55, and Billy Plummer, 54, both of Rockbridge, were pronounced deceased by the Greene County Coroner’s Office as a result of a stabbing incident.

Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl said two of his deputies responded to an assistance call from Greene County and were able to assist on the scene. “They got information that the suspect had left the scene and was possibly heading to the Gillespie area,” said Kahl, noting authorities were attempting to locate the suspect’s cell phone at the time. “It was starting to ping in the Gillespie, Royal Lakes, Plainview area, so one of my deputies made his way in that direction. By the time he got there, he was told Gillespie Police Department had found the car and apprehended the suspect.”

At Monday night’s Gillespie City Council meeting, Police Chief Jared DePoppe commended Officer T.J. Rakey for his efforts in apprehending the suspect. “Officer T.J. Rakey did a terrific job last night,” DePoppe said, noting the department received information that the suspect would probably be passing through the Gillespie area. “He did a very good job of keeping an eye on that and was actually able to stop the vehicle and take the person into custody… I just wanted to publicly thank him for his good work.” DePoppe noted the suspect was turned over to state police custody. Later, he confirmed that the suspect had been apprehended on Staunton Road near Baker Street.

The suspect, Adam Gowin, 28, of Rockbridge, was charged Tuesday, Sept. 11, with a total of six counts of first degree murder by Greene County State’s Attorney Caleb Briscoe. “There are three counts alleging the murder of Billy Plummer and three counts alleging the murder of Ronald Plummer,” said Briscoe. “Each count alleges a different legal theory as to how the offense was committed, but all allege the same physical actions on the part of Adam Gowin, that he stabbed both Billy Plummer and Ronald Plummer, and the stabbings resulted in the death of each of them.”

Gowin appeared in court on Tuesday, when Greene County Circuit Court Judge James Day admonished him of the charges against him and the possible penalties if he were to be found guilty. Possible penalties for first degree murder include a sentence of 20-60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, followed by three years of mandatory supervised release (parole). If Gowin is found guilty of the first degree murder of both B. Plummer and R. Plummer, the sentence would be natural life in prison.

Greene County Attorney Craig Grummel of Clough and Grummel Law was appointed by the court to represent Gowin during Tuesday’s hearing to determine the amount of bail, which was set at $2.5 million, meaning Gowin would have to post $250,000 cash in order to be released from Greene County Jail. Greene County Public Defender Thomas Piper was appointed to represent Gowin at all future court proceedings; the next scheduled court appearance will be a preliminary hearing at 2:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 1.

Briscoe said Illinois Supreme Court rules prohibit him from discussing the specific details of the case at this time. However, he said, “I would like to thank the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the Greenfield Police Department, the Illinois State Police, the Greene County Coroner’s Office, the Roodhouse Police Department, the White Hall Police Department, the Carrollton Police Department, the Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department, the Jersey County Sheriff’s Department, and the Gillespie Police Department for their help and assistance in this investigation and for the extraordinary job they do every day.”

Kahl said that at this time, Gowin faces no additional charges in Macoupin County.