February 18, 2019
Let’s hope the jury for this trial isn’t comprised of darkies, darkies and even more darkies.
We all know what that would mean.
The Jenni McGruder murder case is set for trial this month.
Jonathan I. Kelly, 29, Selden Street, answered ready for trial in front of a crowded gallery Wednesday afternoon before Circuit Judge Scott Shipplett.
Kelly is represented by defense counsel Mike Bianucci while Knox County State’s Attorney John Pepmeyer along with Assistant State’s Attorneys Andrew Stuckart and Brian Kerr.
Special Prosecutor Charles Colburn of the Illinois Office of the State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor was seen in the courtroom, but wasn’t seated at the prosecution table. He has previously assisted Knox County prosecutors in murder cases.
Motions and other pretrial matters are set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, with jury selection likely to begin that afternoon.
Kelly is charged with first-degree murder and firearm offenses related to his alleged role as gunman in the April 1, 2018, shooting death of McGruder in a downtown parking lot.
McGruder, 26, was shot and killed in the city parking lot that runs behind the 100 block of South Seminary Street and was struck from about 50 yards away. Authorities have said a skirmish broke out behind the now-closed Seminary Street Pub, 105 S. Seminary St., and three bullets were fired at a group of people there.
McGruder was an innocent bystander, police have said, and left behind two children and her husband, Mike McGruder.