Police & Courts

Preliminary hearing set for Pittsfield man charged in beating death

William Poor
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 23, 2019 5:00 pm Updated: Apr. 23, 2019 5:30 pm

PITTSFIELD, Ill. --A preliminary hearing has been set for next month for a Pittsfield man charged in the beating death of a man.

Court records show that William K. Poor will return to court May 14 for a preliminary hearing and a hearing on a motion to revoke or increase bond after an appearance Tuesday in Pike County Circuit Court.

Poor, 23, faces two counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery and obstruction of justice in the death of Joshua Witherbee, 26, who died March 29 at St. John's Hospital in Springfield.

Charging documents allege that Poor struck Witherbee with his hands, causing blunt force injuries to his head and neck that led to his death.

Poor was arrested March 27 after Pittsfield Police Department officers were called to the 300 block of Landess Terrace to assist a Pike County Ambulance Service crew with a patient who had been in a fight. The unidentified man was taken to Illini Community Hospital for treatment but later was taken to St. John's for treatment of life-threatening injuries.

Poor appeared in court with his attorney, Ryan Schnack, who was appointed last week after Public Defender Keisha Morris discovered a conflict of interest in the case.

He continues to be held in the Pike County Jail on $300,000 bond.

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