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Alton Telegraph Newspaper Archive: April 13, 1999 - Page 1

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Publication: Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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   Telegraph, The (Newspaper) - April 13, 1999, Alton, Illinois                                Election Day Polls are open from 6 to 7 SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 Communications Is their lob UniComm offers business solutions PageDl Off to a slow start at the plate PageBl The outlook Partly sunny and warmer high near 67 low near 48 PagelH Vol 164 No 50 cents Tuesday April Reading is fun Wood River kicks off National raryWeek PageOl Jurors join family demonstration Families of convicted murderer victim stage peaceful protests By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Jurors who convicted Taiwan Davis of murder sided with his family on Monday in a quiet demonstration against the law that convicted him Meanwhile relatives of mur der victim Richard Skelton staged their own protest just a few feet away The bizarre Madison County Courthouse scene was the latest twist in the mob beating death of Skelton last August in Alton Two demon strating jurors said they would not have convicted Davis 17 in January had they known he would face a sentence of 20 to 60 years He is expected to be sentenced later this month The jurors contend they were improperly instructed because Associate Judge James Hackett did not tell them of the sentencing ramifi cations To the contrary Hackett told them not to con cern themselves with the sen tencing a procedure fol lowed by most judges Also at issue is whether the jurors could have nullified the case by not agreeing with the felony murder charge although agreeing with the facts of the case itself Jurors were given the option only of acquitting or convicting Davis not of debating the merits of the law Hackett said he believes he handled the case lawfully and noted that potential jurors were polled before the trial as to whether or not they agreed to abide by their eventual find ings if selected to serve Several lawyers inter viewed Monday said the jury nullification idea is more theo ry than law Illinois has no such statute but four states Maryland Georgia Indiana and Oregon acknowledge the rights of juries to judge both the law and the facts according to Frank Nugent Missouri coordinator of the Fully Informed Jury Association Nugent in a letter to juror Karen Wilson of Worden said the right of a jury to refuse a judges dictates goes back to the Magna Carta in 1215 That British document restricted See PROTESTS Page The SMIJHI Shelley Garrett left of Wood River and Kelly Skelton right of Wood River protested with family and friends at a counter protest to those seeking a new trial for Taiwan Davis of Alton who was convicted of the murder of Richard Skelton of Wood River The Hint pf protesters between fhe women are supporters of Davis The two women are the daughters of Skelton A The SMITH Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon right gestures as Madison County Clerk Mark Von Nida in bow tie listens at a County Board Taxing Cycle Committee meeting held Monday to discuss latearriving property tax bills Taxpayers receiving bills later could cost thousands By PAUL MACKIE Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE County residents will receive their tax bills in midJuly more than a month later than usual which could cost districts within the county thousands of dollars Taxpayers dont mind getting their bills later but in reality its costing them money because taxing districts are losing money they projected to said Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon during a County Board Taxing Cycle Committee meeting Monday Bathon whose office collects the bills esti mated that all the countys taxing districts could potentially lose nearly during the six weeks that the bills will be delayed That number is based on the total collection amount million that could be invested by all of the countys taxing districts The legislature has made changes to the real estate cycle that impact what a taxpayer Bathon said There are more and more exceptions such as tax increment financing districts enterprise zones and the possible pas sage of todays tax caps It means theres a lot more paperwork to segre See BILLS Page A7 Campaigns have changed officials note By DARRYL HOWLETT Telegraph staff writer As voters select candidates today local and county officials are noting changes in cam paigning within the last decade For Alton City Clerk Mary Boulds cam paigning still represents going out to meet the people I believe the campaigning process has changed in some Boulds said How to campaign was instilled in me by my predeces sors I went knocking on doors going out and meeting people lettingthe people know a little about yourself so that they know who you are and the position youre running Boulds who was appointed city clerk in 1992 won election in 1993 and reelection in 1997 I do believe money being spent on cam See CAMPAIGNS Page A7 4 i The SMITH Candidates signs vie for attention in yards along Illinois Route 111 in Roxana Various municipal and school board elections are being held today Morning Trial date set for suspect in drug distribution case A8 Bulletin D5 Brakhane Fulmer Hayes Holtzscher Miller Piggott Roberts Sanders Stassi Wallace By THOMAS WRAUSMANN Telegraph staff writer JERSEYVILLE A jury trial has been set for 9 Tuesday May 25 for a Granite City man who pleaded not guilty Monday to several felony drug distribution charges Two Granite City men and one from Dallas were arrested March 30 in a series of coordi nated raids in Granite City and New Delhi Police hope the raids have shut down a drug trafficking ring responsible for bringing about worth of mari juana and cocaine from Mexico into the area each month including roughly half the amount coming into Jersey and Greene counties Travis D Mayes 27 appeared in Jersey County Circuit Court on Monday with his attorney Thomas M Daley of Belleville Daley asked Circuit Judge Tom Russell if Mayes1 bond could be reduced from to Mayes is charged with criminal drug conspiracy two counts of unlawful delivery of marijuana and one count of unlawful delivery of cocaine I See DRUG Page A7 TRUCKLOAD CARPET SALE RITAILWHOLISALI AND COMMIRCIAL CARPETING   

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