Murder suspect's lawyer seeks to suppress confession

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Heather Davis

CAIRO, Ill. -- Chauncey Hughes' lawyer is seeking to suppress his confession to police in the murder case against him.

Hughes, 30, faces felony murder charges in connection with the Nov. 1 shooting death of his wife, Heather Davis, 22.

At a preliminary hearing in December in Alexander County Circuit Court, an Illinois State Police special agent said Hughes changed his story under questioning by law enforcement.

Special Agent Ryan Sykes testified Hughes initially told Illinois State Police Sgt. Chad Brown and Alexander County Sheriff Tim Brown a pistol accidentally discharged when Davis handed it to him.

When the sheriff and the state trooper expressed doubt about Hughes' version of events, he changed his story, saying he accidentally shot Hughes while attempting to scare her during an altercation, Sykes testified.

In court Tuesday, Circuit Judge Mark Clarke said Hughes' attorney, public defender Zach Gowin, had filed a motion to suppress Hughes' confession.

Gowin filed several other motions, including one for appointment of an expert witness and one to bar testimony and photos of alleged domestic violence.

Clarke reset the case for a pretrial conference April 15, when he will take up Gowin's motions.

Hughes was charged Nov. 2 with five counts of murder. Alexander County State's Attorney Jeff Farris has said he filed multiple charges against Hughes to give a jury several options.

Hughes also faces three aggravated battery charges in a separate case filed in June.

The battery case had been set for trial in January, but at Gowin's request, it was rescheduled for trial at the same time as the murder case.

Davis owned and managed Mack's Restaurant in Cairo.


Pertinent address:

Cairo, Ill.

Map of pertinent addresses

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