Appellate court rules Elijah Lacy should remain free

Appellate court rules Elijah Lacy should remain free

MT. VERNON, IL (KFVS) - An appellate court Thursday upheld a lower court's decision to dismiss murder charges against a Carbondale man.

Elijah Lacy faced first degree murder charges in connection with the death of Falon Taylor.

In July 2010 on the day Lacy's trial was due to begin, Judge Ronald Eckiss reluctantly dismissed the murder charges after the defense filed a motion to dismiss claiming Lacy's right to a speedy trial had been violated.

Lacy's attorney Christian J. Baril says it was because the case had not gone to trial within 180 days. Court documents show the State requested and a different judge granted two 60-day continuances due to witnesses being unable to appear in court.

Lacy's defense team argued the State should have only been allowed one 60-day continuance under Illinois Law.

Thursday - three fifth district appellate justices in Mt. Vernon agreed.

Now it appears, Elijah Lacy may remain a free man.

When the case was initially dismissed last year, Falon Taylor's mother, Angela Hopkins told Heartland News she didn't feel justice had been done. Heartland News tried, but could not locate Hopkins for reaction to the appeal.

Lacy's attorney says a defendant's rights are important too when seeking justice.

"Everybody's heart goes out to Falon Taylor and her family. Nobody deserves for that to happen," said Attorney Christian J. Baril. "But speedy trial and a defendant's rights is a whole separate issue, and rules are rules."

Jackson County State's Attorney Mike Wepsiec was unreachable for comment Friday, so we could not ask if he plans to appeal the case to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Baril says if there is another appeal, he'll be ready to argue the case.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

Related Stories