Man arrested in New Mexico for Zeigler double homicide - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Zeigler, IL

Man arrested in New Mexico for Zeigler double homicide

Man arrested in New Mexico for Zeigler double homicide
By: Carly O'Keefe

ZEIGLER, Il. - One day after police initiate an investigation into a double homicide in Franklin County, a heartland man is arrested in New Mexico.

James Coulter of Herrin was wanted for questioning in the shooting deaths of his estranged wife, 31-year-old Amanda Tope, and 31-year-old Jack Weston of Zeigler.

Police in Los Lunas, New Mexico pulled over Coulter's car Saturday just four hours from the Mexico border. Police aren't sure yet if Coulter planned to leave the country.

Coulter was arrested on two counts of first degree murder and is being held in Los Lunas on $2 million bond pending extradition.

Now folks in Zeigler focus on what has been lost, their friend and neighbor Jack Weston. "He will be missed and he was the most decent young man I've ever met," said neighbor Sylvia Copher.

Copher says Weston was known around the neighborhood as a someone who would always lend a helping hand. "After my husband died he said if I needed anything just to holler down the street to him," Copher said.

Now that he's gone, neighbors say they just can't believe it. "We're all in shock, because this young man was a well-respected young man, he had respect for his parents, for his grandparents. He had respect for anyone older than him," said Copher. "It's very sad that this has happened."

Weston's neighbor Rhonda Triplett is shocked on two accounts: first, that it happened down the street, and second, because she grew up with James Coulter. "Jimmy I knew very well. Practically since I was a little girl," said Triplett. "It's very surprising, he was always hard working, a good father and a good person. It's just shocking that he could do something like this."

Triplett says she's never known coulter to be violent and she says he loved Amanda Tope very much.  "He just loved her so much that it just apparently pushed him over the edge," said Triplett.

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