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Harman sex trial ends in hung jury

                 Watseka man faces new trial

Iroquois County prosecutors will forge ahead in preparing a new trial for a Watseka man facing nearly two dozen charges involving criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse.

A new trial date will have to be determined by the courts.

In Watseka this past week, an Iroquois County jury could not decide guilt or innocence for 50-year-old Jeff Harman.

The Watseka resident is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The accusations stem from alleged incidents between 1995-1999. Three now-grown women testified in court that Harman sexually assaulted them when they were under the age of 13.

And despite Harman's own confession to police investigators in a recorded interrogation, an 8 men, four women jury could not decide the case after several hours over two days of deliberations.

Following his confession, Harman pleaded not guilty and recanted his confession in court.

Iroquois County State's Attorney Jim Devine wasn't happy with the 10-2 vote to convict.

"It's disappointing to result in a hung jury. We'll reevaluate the findings and move ahead toward a new trial," Devine said. "We have three witnesses, victims who are committed and ready to go forward."

Defense Attorney Raymond Wigell said he has the utmost respect for the case presented by Devine and ass't S-A Alex O'Brien.

"The jury worked very hard, but they had obvious questions or they wouldn't have been deadlocked," Wigell said afterwards. "We now go back to work and prepare for the next trial."

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Peotone Man Dies in Motorcycle - Pickup Crash

A 53 year old Peotone man has died after a motorcycle - pickup truck accident in Peotone Township. It happened Friday at the intersection of Wilmington - Peotone Road and 128th Avenue. Thomas J Keenan was pronounced dead at 5 pm Friday. The motorcycle he was riding was struck by a pickup.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Rt. 49 in Iroquois County closed for repairs

Motorists travelling Iroquois County Route 49 will want to note a section of that road will be closed beginning today. A box culvert is being replaced between Route 24 at Crescent City headed north to County Road 1900 N.

IROQUOIS PAVING CORPORATION is doing the work.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Benton County home invasion, man shot

A Benton County, Indiana man suffered a gunshot in the leg during a home invasion Sunday morning.

The intruder has not been caught. And police era advising people to keep their doors locked and do not open the door to any stranger.

Indiana State Police said one person entered a home on South 200 East in Oxford around 11:30 am. He allegedly pointed a gun and demanded money.

Police said the man and his wife were home during the break-in. The person held a gun to the man's head, and then took money and other items of value.

While trying to defend himself, the victim was shot by the intruder in the leg. His wife was not injured. The man show still got to the phone to call 911.

The victim was taken to Franciscan St. Elizabeth East Hospital.

The intruder has not been caught. Anyone with information is asked to call Master Trooper Detective Tim Kendall at 765-567-2125.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Brook, Morocco Fire battle field fires

High winds hampered firefighter efforts Sunday as a fast-moving field fire burned for nearly a mile before it was brought under control. The Brook-Iroquois Township Volunteer Department and Morocco Volunteer Departments were on the scene for nearly three hours. No injuries reported.

Brook Fire Chief Kyle Conrad reports his department was called just after Noon to 3390 W and 900 S near Ade in Newton County.

An earlier brush fire ignited nearby corn stubble and then spread into set aside acres. Conrad said the fire, at one time, was traveling at 20 mph racing thru a corn field. Morocco firemen were called in with two more brush trucks while neighboring farmer James Whaley assisted with a tractor and disc to create a fire stop.

94.1 WGFA