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Alton Telegraph Newspaper Archives Dec 9 1999, Page 3

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - December 9, 1999, Alton, Illinois I key witness refuses to testify at Ewing Murde Dilt or Kinin am. In a a. _ by Dennis Grubaugh Telegraph staff writer Edwardsville the trigger Man in a 1996 Alton slaying refused to testify wednesday in the trial of the Man accused of giving him the murder weapon the decision by Clifton Wheeler to invoke his 5th amendment rights against self incrimination created an interesting dilemma for both the prosecution and defense during the second Day of the first degree murder trial of Jeffrey a. Ewing 34, of Alton. The Case continues today in Madison county circuit court with associate judge James Hackett presiding. Ewing is accused of slipping a 9 my semiautomatic pistol to Wheeler on the crowded parking lot of Peters lounge too big Arch Road on dec. 15, 1996, moments before Wheeler used the weapon to shoot Dwight a Reggie Quot Riddlesprige nine times two other witnesses testified that decision creates dilemma for attorneys a Hanif Cato Ika a i a a. A. They saw the gun Exchange hands but the prosecutions Case would have been significantly bolstered by the expected testimony of Wheeler. Wheeler pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced earlier this year to 23 years in prison authorities said the fairly Light sentence was based on Wheeler s expected cooperation in both the Ewing Case and a second unrelated Alton murder involving James a a Raven Evans. Wheeler did testify against Evans who was found guilty by jury last month and is awaiting sentencing. There was no official explanation for wheelers decision not to testify and the jury was not informed of the development. One investigator told the Telegraph that Wheeler May have been unwilling to say that it was Ewing who handed him the gun. That could have Hurt the prosecutions Case. By not testifying Wheeler May in effect be helping prosecutors observers said. Wheelers refusal also presents a quandary for defense attorney Jack Daugherty who had planned to show that Wheeler was in fear of Riddlesprige and was acting in self defense when he shot him. Riddlesprige 35, had just left the bar after being involved in a dispute with oth ers Over gambling occurring in the men s restroom Ile was a a Mouthy and Yelling at various people in the parking lot witnesses said at the same time Wheeler 22. Had been equally belligerent and picking fights inside the tavern before going outside with the rest of the crowd when the party broke up he crossed paths with Riddlesprige outside and the two exchanged words. Ewing also is charged with conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly plotting to have Wheeler killed to keep him from testifying. That Case is not yet set for trial. Assistant states attorney Keith Jensen refused to say Why Wheeler would not testify but pointed out that he had never promised the jury that Wheeler would defense attorney Daugherty Only would say a for some reason he Wheeler had taken the 5th on wednesday Daughtery called Ewing a father Henry Ewing As a witness to discredit a possible motive advanced by the prosecutor a that the murder victim had struck Henry Ewing at some time in the past prompting revenge by Ewing a son Henry Ewing said he knew Riddlesprige from a prison work release program and denied that he had Ever been struck by him a the was a Nice kid a Ewing 55, said another witness Demond Spruill of Alton testified that Ewing admitted the crime to in if Midtown tit present 3fc a a dec.11 Call cd 251-6095 it j888j-841 -4142 City employees donate to help needy by Linda n. Weller Telegraph staff writer Alton a As they have since 1961, City employees once again have taken Home slightly smaller paychecks to make the holidays brighter for the needy this year the donations allowed the City charitable contribution club to provide $1,850 for five charities which in turn will help numerous residents with food gifts and living essentials during the Holiday season. This years recipients and amount of gifts Are the crisis food Center $450 salvation army $350 arms of love crisis pregnancy centers toy drive $350 project helping hand $350 and boys and girls club of Alton $350. Throughout the year the voluntary paycheck deductions go into a fund. By december of each year the fund accumulates hundreds of dollars to give to local charities that will make Christmas a happier time for poor residents. A the employees Are to be commended for what they do a City treasurer Dan Beiser said. Beiser is a Board member of the club. Come see Santa., saturday dec. Lith @ 1p.m. 3 30 . Haskell playhouse 1211 Henry Street Alton in bring your children to talk to Santa a free admittance a free Candy canes a pictures with Santa $2.00 a see the antique doll display for More info Call 463-3580 sponsored by Haskell playhouse restoration committee Alton Park amp recreation d e r m a s s 0 c 1 a t e s announces the relocation of our office to 22 professional Park Maryville in 618 288-0998 c. Dobbin Connor my Gary j. Vicik my Ltd. 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