A Breese teenager is dead and another in juvenile custody following an altercation that led to a fatal blow early Sunday morning at a clubhouse in Clinton County. On Sunday, April 23 at approximately 1:35 a.m., 18-year-old Jacob “Jake” Arter of Breese was brought to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese unresponsive.
The Clinton County Sheriff’s Department was notified by hospital personnel at 1:41 a.m. and was told that he had been “battered” at a rural clubhouse between Germantown and Bartelso. Arter was pronounced dead at 2:24 a.m. by Clinton County Coroner Phillip Moss.
An autopsy was performed Monday afternoon, however, Moss said that it would take 6 to 8 weeks for final results.
The juvenile suspect is currently being held in a detention hall.
“The case is still under investigation,” said Clinton County Sheriff Doug Maue. “We are gathering information from witnesses and potential witnesses yet.”
Deputies located the suspect at a residence earlier this week and brought him in for questioning. As of presstime, no formal charges have been filed against him; however, John Hudspeth, state’s attorney for Clinton County, announced Tuesday afternoon, that, at his request, a special prosecutor has been appointed into the matters relating to the death of Jacob Arter.
“The matter remains under investigation by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and, pursuant to court order, is now to be prosecuted by the office of the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor (SAAP),” Hudspeth said, adding that until the court order, the Clinton County State’s Attorney’s Office had been providing support to the sheriff’s office since early Sunday morning when the incident happened.
“However, I am related to the family of a juvenile suspect now in custody in this investigation,” he said. “I have had a close relationship with many members of the suspect’s family for decades. In order to avoid any claim of error which might result from a conflict of interests and to avoid the appearance of impropriety, I had no choice but to ask the court to appoint a special prosecutor.”
He added that under Illinois law, any conflicts of the State’s Attorney are also conflicts of his assistant state’s attorneys (ASAs), so none of the Clinton County ASAs could prosecute these matters in his place.
“The court agreed with our motion and appointed SAAP, where SAAP will now provide that support, make charging decisions, and appear in court for the people of the state of Illinois,” he said.
Hudspeth added that earlier Tuesday, he and Sheriff Doug Maue discussed the matter with one of Jacob Arter’s parents.
“The parent understood these concerns, agreed and thanked us for contacting them to let them know about the appointment of the special prosecutor,” he said.
Later Tuesday morning, while the special prosecutor from SAAP was in Hudspeth’s office, Hudspeth called the parent again to introduce the two parties and “facilitate future communications between them.”
State’s attorney Hudspeth urges anyone with information in the matter to contact the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 594-4555. The sheriff will then share the information with the special prosecutor.
Arter was a senior at Central Community High School in Breese, where he played on the football team for all four years.
Superintendent Kevin Meyer said that Arter was looking forward to high school graduation on May 25 and had plans to attend Illinois College in Jacksonville in the fall, where he planned to try out for the football team.
“He was a bright student and was enrolled in upper-level courses,” Meyer said.
Grief counselors have been made available at the school.
The suspect was also enrolled at Central High School but was not attending Central and was referred to an alternative learning academy for academic recovery purposes.
“His enrollment at the alternative learning school was not for behavioral or disciplinary issues, but rather for (academic) credit recovery reasons,” Meyer said.
Arter is survived by his parents, James “Jim” and Suzanne Arter of Breese; a sister, Brittany Arter of Breese; grandparents Dale and Sharon Lindley of Pocahontas and Barbara Arter of Breese; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, April 26 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Thursday, April 27 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Moss Funeral Home in Breese.
Funeral services will be held on April 27 at 10 a.m. at Moss Funeral Home in Breese, with Pastor Ronald Lindley and Brother Paul Hall presiding. Interment will be held at Ellwood Cemetery in Breese.
Full obituary information on Arter can be found on page 5A.
Central High School hosted their annual Tri-County Track Meet on Monday with seven schools participating. On the boys side, the host Cougars dominated the field in taking the title with 166 points ahead of Nashville’s 103 in second place and Greenville’s 85 in third place.
Rounding out the top six were Wesclin (84), Mater Dei (52) and Okawville (37).
On the girls side, Nashville took the title with 131.5 points, edging Central in second place with 115 points.
Rounding out the top seven were Okawville (88), Wesclin (63), Greenville (58.5), Mater Dei (54) and Christ Our Rock Lutheran (9).
The Cougars’ relay teams were a big story of their success as they won the 4 x 100-meter with a time of :44.48 and the 4 x 200-meter with a finish of 1:35.87.
Their relay teams also placed second in the 4 x 800-meter relay with a time of 9:01.78.
Ben Rakers had a great effort for Central as well as he took top honors in the long jump with a leap of 20’8.5”.
The senior won the triple jump with a distance of 41’7”. He also won the 110-meter hurdles in a time of :15.28 and the 300 hurdles with a time of :41.65.
Fellow senior Collin Thomas won the 100-meter dash in a time of :11.06, just ahead of teammate Bailey Stewart’s finish of :11.88.
Thomas also won the 400-meter dash with a time of :51.25. Stewart was third best with a :54.05.
Central sophomore Tyson Lobb won the 200-meter dash with a finish of :23.65.
Central’s Jay Detmer earned a third-place finish in the 110 hurdles (:16.51) and the 300 hurdles (:43.34.). He was second in the long jump with a leap of 204.5”.
Brent Kohrmann earned a second place in the high jump for the Cougars with a leap of 5’11”.
Mater Dei junior Luke Goebel was the best in the 3200-meter run with a time of 10:20.70. He also was third in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:40.75.
Mater Dei senior Keegan Spirek was second in the 300 hurdles with a finish of :43.33.
The Mater Dei 4 x 100-meter relay team got third place with a time of :47.47.
They also got third in the 4 x 200-meter relay with a time of 1:39.34.
Wesclin swept the shot put event with Jacob Brown winning the event with a toss of 44’0”. Teammate Antonio Williams was second best with his throw of 42’11”.
Wesclin’s Holden Evans was second in the 110 hurdles with a time of :16.41.
The Warriors nabbed seconds in the 4 x 100-meter relay and the 4 x 200-meter relay.
On the girls side, the Lady Cougars got the top two times in the 100-meter dash with junior Jessie Hempen winning the event with a finish of :12.72 in front of f Fellow junior Faye Meissner’s :13.35.
Hempen also won the 200-meter dash with a time of :26.64. Meissner was third with a :27.81.
Wesclin’s Kavali Tanuvasa-Lole was second with a time of :27.41.
Meissner took the time in the 400-meter run for Central with a time of 1:00.62.
Hempen was second best with a time of 1:01.66.
Mater Dei sophomore Elyse Faust was second best in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:58.78.
She was the top finisher in the 3200-meter run with her time of 13:18.78.
Central’s Annabelle Wieter took third place in the 100-meter hurdles with an effort of :18.39
She also claimed third in the 300 hurdles with a time of :50.66.
Mater Dei’s Carly Etter was second best in the high jump with a leap of 4’11”
Mater Dei senior Megan Deimeke was second best in the shot put with a toss of 37’0”.
She was also second in the discus with a heave of 97’8.5”.
Central junior Sydney Irizarry won the event with her throw of 100’10.5”.
Wesclin won the 4 x 100-meter relay with a time of :50.91.
Central won the 4 x 200-meter relay with a time of 1:53.60. Wesclin earned third in the event.
The Lady Cougars were third best in the 4 x 800-meter relay with a time of 12:04.41.
Being a firefighter in an all-volunteer department, like Breese, is a noble calling. It’s founded on mutual respect and trust between firefighters and the citizens they serve. The same respect can be found between fire districts across the country. And, every fire department — no matter how large or small — will at one time or another need some form of mutual aid.
Mutual aid and respect were equally displayed last week when the Breese Fire District graciously donated its 1989 FMC rescue pumper to the Goodman Area Fire Protection District.
“We’re thankful to be able to help a fire station in need,” said Breese fire chief Bob Wuest.
Goodman fire chief Keith Estes explained that his district is picking up the pieces along with the rest of the Goodman community after an EF-2 tornado ripped through town on April 4.
Much like Breese, Goodman, Missouri has railroad tracks dividing the town and it’s not unusual for a train to be stopped on the tracks.
Therefore, the Goodman Fire District has two fire stations right across the tracks from each other. Estes said both stations were a total loss following the tornado and the wall of one station was being supported by a truck.
Initially, Estes said, the department couldn’t even get their trucks out because they were buried underneath crumbling walls and roofs. They had a total of 10 apparatuses located in the two fire stations.
“I have nine apparatus damaged and no buildings” Estes said. “We’re very fortunate that a private company in Goodman, Choice Puppies, has a huge facility, so we’re able to store five apparatus there for the time being.”
The storm ripped through the west side of the small town about 7:30 p.m. on April 4. In addition to the fire stations, the school, several homes and businesses reported damage.
Fortunately, fire crews do not stay at the stations overnight, so they were all home safe with their families when the tornado hit. Overall, two people in Goodman suffered minor injuries but there were no deaths.
After the storm, Estes said, the department received a big response from surrounding communities through mutual aid and volunteers. He said the support has been overwhelming.
Goodman is a town of a little over 1,200 people. It is 30 miles south of Joplin, Missouri, where a historic tornado six years ago killed 158 people, injured more than 1,200 and caused more than $2 billion in damage.
While the Goodman Fire District encompasses 96 square miles, it’s the only fire protection district in the county and the operating budget is tight.
“This may be a 1989 pumper but it’ll be the second newest truck in our fleet,” he said.
He noted that the district is in the process of building another rural station and still needs a truck for that facility.
The Breese Fire District recently purchased a 2017 KME rescue pumper which replaces the 1989 model. The new pumper was put into service two weeks ago.
“I have had so many people asking what do you need? What do you need? I still don’t know what we all need but this is a 1,000 gallon truck,” he said speaking of the donated truck from Breese. “When you’re a rural department and you hear it’s capable of hauling 1,000 gallons, that is definitely something we need.”
Ryan Weh, who is a police officer with the city of Trenton, was talking to some fellow D.A.R.E. officers who shared the story of the Goodman fire department and the destruction the area had sustained.
He knew the Breese Fire Department was taking its 1989 pumper out of service and he proposed the idea of donating the truck to Breese Fire Chief Bob Wuest and district board members. After some discussion, the decision was made to donate the truck to Goodman.
“As firefighters, we’re all one big family so we’re very happy that we can help someone in need,” Weh said.
“We are extremely thankful,” Estes commented. “I don’t know if I can ever express our gratitude for what this department and the people of this district are doing. It’s overwhelming. This piece of equipment will have a long life and will be part of our district for a very long time.”
Estes said he hopes to keep a good relationship going with the Breese Fire District, and he invited the firemen and board members to visit Goodman if they are ever in the area.
“Sometimes God makes things happen for reasons,” Estes said.
|Fri., April 21
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|Tues., April 25