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View Sample Pages : Alton Telegraph, April 16, 1999

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - April 16, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 Winter storm damage doesn’t stop Dad’s Club members Page C-l v/ '4W Cloudy and    ;    nin nQV cold with    ;n.l.r.uay showers likely,    j    Spa joins High 44    ;    Salon 140 PageD^ Page D-lVol. 164, No. 91—50 cents Friday, April 16,1999 www.thetelegraph.comMan gets life in killing ut boy By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer GREENVILLE - Jennie Hudson embraced her son’s portrait and sobbed bitterly Thursday as she offered a courtroom condemnation of the man who murdered her 12-year-old boy. “I will never forgive what you did to my family,” she told De Angelo Jones. "I hope you see this little boy every day in your nightmares.” Jones, 29, was sentenced to natural life in prison without parole by Circuit Judge Charles V. Romani Jr. after defense attorneys struck a deal with prosecutors to drop the death penalty in return for a guilty plea. Jones was charged with first-degree murder for the Aug. 12, 1997, sexual assault a Thope you see this little boy every I day in your nightmares.” Jennie Hudson mother of 12-year-old victim and beating death of Justin Hudson, whose body was found not far from his bicycle in a wooded area on the eastern edge of the Bond County Fairgrounds in Greenville The murder occurred six weeks after Jones, a registered sex offender, was paroled from prison. By entering the plea, Jones avoided a minimum two-week trial that was to start May IO in Bond County Circuit Court in Greenville. Both Bond and Madison counties are part of Illinois’ 3rd Judicial Circuit. Justin’s parents, Jennie and Doug Hudson, and his 17-year-old brother, Jeremy, were allowed by the judge to address Jones individually after the sentencing Doug Hudson suggested that Jones should use his long prison stretch to change his life. “I hope when your day comes that you’ve taken that chance (to change) so that maybe God will forgive you. Right now, I can’t.” ■ See KILLING. Page A-9 -- The    jelegraph/RUSS    SMITH While marry were visiting the Downtown Alton Post Office to mail their taxes by the midnight Thursday deadline, Mary Simpkins of Alton was picking up forms to start her taxes. She said finishing by the deadline would be no problem. Residents get IRS forms in the mail for Uncle Sam By DARRYL HOWLETT Telegraph staff writer Residents made one last dash to post offices Thursday to turn in tax returns before the midnight deadline. At the Edwardsville Post Office on Kansas Street, postal clerks started handling tax forms Wednesday, with the pace picking up throughout the day Thursday. “Our windows have three people all day,” Mitch Mead, supervisor of customer service, said Thursday. “We also have one person at our drive-through service.” The post office was to remain open until midnight. “We will be tapping the mailboxes every 20 minutes,” Mead said. “We’re the only post office in the area with a drive-through window. With the rain, it should be very busy.” In Wood River, postal officials said more residents were using certified mail to send off their tax information. “(Wednesday) was steady with every now and then a rush of customers,” said Wood River postmaster Bob Farris. “This year was unusually slow for the tax season. We’ve also had a lot of customers using certified mail for ■ See IRS, Page A-9 Firefighters’ families lose in high court Insurer does not have to pay judgments in arson deaths By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that State Farm Insurance Co. does not have to pay multimil-lion-dollar judgments to the estates of two Alton firefighters killed in an arson fire in 1992. In reversing lower court decisions, the Supreme Court said the coverage was precluded by a policy exclusion for personal injuries that were the result of “willful and malicious acts of the insured” — meaning the landlord who paid to have the building set on fire The ruling stems from wrongful death cases filed in 1993 in Madison County Circuit Court on behalf of the executors of the estates of Tim Lewis and Gary Porter. The two men died as they were fighting a house fire that later was determined to be an arson. The building’s owner. Gregory Martin Sr., a State Farm client, was convicted of paying another man to set the fire. The trial court — and later the Illinois Fifth District Appellate Court — ruled that State Farm had a duty to defend and indemnify Martin, which would have required the insurance company to pay the firefighters' survivors. State Farm’s attorneys argued that Martin’s actions in hiring a tenant to set fire to his building were outside the scope of its coverage on rental dwellings. Alton lawyer Joe Hoefert represented Ethelyn Gorham, executrix of the Porter estate. He said the parties were disappointed by Thursday’s developments. “We’ve got until May 6 to file a petition to reconsider, which we plan to do. If we lose the petition, the case is over.” Collecting money directly from Martin is unlikely unless Martin “would win the lottery,” Hoefert said. Martin was convicted of arson and sentenced ■ See COURT, Page A-9j&oiiLV:ting! Area/Illinois .A-3,10 Bulletin Board .A-8 Classifieds----C-4 Comics.......D-5 Editorial ......A-6 Nation/world .. .D-6 Obituaries.....A-7 Costello, Dick, Helenthal, Johnson A., Johnson D.., Kortkamp, Shaw G., Shaw J., Stewart, Stille, Traylor, Turpin, Valenti Television.....D-7 New Roxana board plans to bring back police union This is spring? By DARRYL HOWLETT Telegraph staff writer ROXANA — The results from Tuesday’s election in Roxana may cause sweeping changes in village policies toward the police department and services to residents. Village Trustee Fred Hubbard, who has served on the board for 20 years, said the new board members — Nick Adams, Felix Floyd Jr. and Jim Loyd — will look to change some of the village’s policies. “We ran our campaign on the basis that we supported a police union and to establish and recognize the United Steelworkers of America representing them. I think that’s what the people said they want, although the mayor is still against it,” Hubbard said. “(The village) will have the police union back, most definitely. It probably will happen on the first meeting we take office (in May).” On Feb. 16, 1998, the Village Board voted 4-1 to stop recognizing the United Steelworkers as representatives of Roxana's police officers. Hubbard was the only trustee who voted against the resolution. The village stated it did not have to recognize the police union because the Illinois Public Employee Labor Relations Act did not apply to municipalities with fewer than 35 employees. As of Friday, the village was awaiting a decision by the Illinois State Labor Relations Board on whether the United Steelworkers can represent the police. “If the Illinois Labor Relations Board rules in favor of the village, we will dismiss that. We will reinstate the union,” Hubbard said. “We have the right not to recognize the union, because the village doesn’t have 35 employees, but we do want the police union We want to go into negotiations on a contract with the police officers. We want to rewrite the contract.” Hubbard also referred to another issue affecting the police department. Arbitrator David A. Loebach ruled in ■ See ROXANA, Page A-9 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Tommy Taylor, 12, found a way to cope with the wind and rain Thursday as he walked home from East Middle School along the 500 block of Washington Avenue in Alton. The forecast today calls for more rain, possibly mixed with wet snow. ;