Man charged with murder in connection to death of Chester, IL officer appears in court

Search continues for suspect in chase that killed Chester officer
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)
Officer James Brockmeyer (Source: Chester Police Department)
Officer James Brockmeyer (Source: Chester Police Department)
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)
Chester firefighters lined up for the processional. (Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)
Chester firefighters lined up for the processional. (Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)

CHESTER, IL (KFVS) - The suspect in the death of a Chester, Illinois officer appeared in court on Monday, November 14.

Jason Stoker was in court at 1 p.m. in Randolph County, Ill. He was appointed a public defender.

He was charged with two counts of aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, reckless homicide and first degree murder.

Stoker will be back in court on Nov. 21 for a bond increase hearing. His bond is currently set at $250,000 and the state's attorney wants to increase it.

He will also be back in court on Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. for a preliminary hearing.

The case against Stoker

According to Randolph County Sheriff Shannon Wolff, Jason Michael Stoker was wanted in connection with a car crash that killed Officer James Brockmeyer. He was taken into custody late on Tuesday afternoon, November 1, in the St. Louis area.

Officials say that on October 28 at approximately 10 p.m., Brockmeyer attempted to pull over a 2006 Red Pontiac G6, bearing license plate number Z121833. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Stoker.

Investigators said Stoker refused to stop, and that's when the chase started.

During that chase, Brockmeyer's patrol car left the road and flipped just south of Union School Road in Randolph County.

He was trapped in the wreckage and died of injuries from the crash.

Deputies found Stoker's car in Evansville, Indiana before he was finally arrested in St. Louis.

An arrest warrant was initially issued for Jason Stoker, 34, for aggravated fleeing and eluding. His bond was set at $250,000.

Court documents show he drove at least 21 miles per hour over the legal speed limit during that chase.

Those charges have since been upgraded to include reckless homicide and first degree murder.

In the petition to increase bail, State's Attorney Jeremy Walker wrote that an investigator with the Illinois State Police spoke with Stoker on the phone and told him about the warrant and pending charge, and Stoker refused to turn himself in.

He is scheduled to be in court on Nov. 21 for a motion hearing to increase bond.

Stoker also has a bench trial in December stemming from a battery charge from an incident August.

Funeral and visitation for Officer Brockmeyer

Hundreds of people gathered in Chester, Illinois on Thursday, November 3 to honor an officer killed in the line of duty.

Officer James Brockmeyer died on Oct. 28 after crashing his patrol car while he was chasing a suspect.

A funeral procession left Chester High School south on Swanwick Street, left on German past the police department, right on State past the fire department, left on Taylor around the courthouse, right on Little Taylor Rd., left on E. Buena Vist when it turns into Rock Bridge Rd., right on Water St. along the river when it turns into Kalkaska, right on Branch when it turns into Randolph, right on Bridge Bypass Rd., left on Illinois Route 3, right on Shawneetown Trail, right on Chester Rd., right on Illinois Route 150, right on Van Zant, right on Palastine to the cemetery on the left (820 Palestine Rd. in Chester).

There were some road closures because of the procession.

The public was highly encouraged to show their love and support to the family by displaying the American flag, Thin Blue Line flag or Fire Service flag along the procession route.

Funeral arrangements for Brockmeyer were held at Chester High School.

Visitation was on Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Funeral services started at 10 a.m. on Nov. 3 in the Colbert Memorial Gymnasium.

Chester Police Department

Chester students honor Officer Brockmeyer

Around 650 students from Chester public schools marched to City Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 2 to plant flags in front of a memorial display set up for Officer Brockmeyer. Students also signed a board set up at City Hall for community members to sign.

More on Officer James Brockmeyer

Brockmeyer, 22, was originally from Chester and had been an officer for 10 months. He had also been a volunteer firefighter for the Chester Fire Department.

According to Illinois State Police, he attended St. John's Lutheran for kindergarten through 8th grade and graduated in 2008. He graduated from Chester High School in 2012.

He participated in basketball, baseball and track and field. He was on the first St. John's basketball team to win the regional tournament.

At 16 years old, Brockmeyer was part of the first Chester Fire Department Explorers and was the first Explorer designated as captain.

He attended the Southwest Illinois College Fire Science Academy and became a full-time volunteer. He trained with the police academy and graduated in April 2016.

"James Brockmeyer was the friend to everyone who never said no and he loved spending time with his girlfriend and their two dogs, Nina and Remi."

Brockmeyer is also survived by his parents, Dixie and Don Brockmeyer, and his sister.

Vigil held for officer

Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil held in Chester, Illinois in honor of Brockmeyer on Saturday.

The vigil began at 8 p.m. and was held at the Cohen Complex, just north of Chester off of Highway 3.

Family, friends and co-workers all gathered to pray and pay their respects for what Brockmeyer did for the Chester community.

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