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.