VANDALIA (Heartland Newsfeed) — Alexander Beccue waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday, September 6 in Fayette County Court and requested the matter be set at pre-trial status. Judge Don Sheafor granted the motions.
Beccue and his attorney, Edward Deters, waived arraignment on all issues except punishment. Beccue is being held in the Illinois Department of Corrections on four felony counts:
Count 1: Beccue’s first count is for the first-degree murder of 29-year-old Joshua K. Smith of Nokomis. This charge is classified as a Class M felony and states that Beccue “…without lawful justification, shot Joshua K. Smith in the head with a firearm, knowing said act would cause the death of Joshua K. Smith, thereby causing the death of Joshua K. Smith” and carries 20 years to a lifetime imprisonment, a $25,000 fine and three years to lifetime mandatory supervised release. State’s Attorney Joshua C. Morrison is seeking an additional penalty of 25 years.
Count 2: Beccue’s second count is for possession of a stolen 2003 black Ford Mustang. This charge is classified as a Class 2 felony and carries a three-year to seven-year prison sentence, a possible $25,000 fine and two years mandatory supervised release. Morrison is seeking an extended term of three to 14 years.
Count 3: Beccue’s third count is for possession of weapons by a convicted felon and was in possession of a .38 revolver. This charge is classified as a Class 3 felony and carries a two-year to five-year prison sentence, a possible $25,000 fine and one year mandatory supervised release. Morrison is seeking an extended term of two to ten years.
Count 4: Beccue’s fourth count is a secondary count for first-degree murder. A Class M felony, the charge cites that “…without legal justification, shot Joshua K. Smith in the head with a handgun, knowing such act created a strong possibility of death…” and carries a 20-year to lifetime prison sentence, a $25,000 fine and three years of mandatory supervised release. With consideration that a firearm was utilized in this case, the state is seeking an additional 25-year sentence.
Beccue entered a plea of not guilty to all counts, requested a trial by jury, and the matter was set for pretrial at 1 pm on Halloween, October 31.
This case stems from an August 11 incident at 305 E. 6th St. in Ramsey, in which a female caller reported shots fired inside the residence. Police and emergency medical services responded to the scene. Smith later died at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.