STATE HOLDS PRELIM IN DOUBLE HOMICIDE, WHITE COUNTY; HERE’S THE STORY WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR
WHITE CO.—Here’s a rough draft of what we learned in court this morning in the case of Danny K. Coston, 36, accused of five counts of First Degree Murder in the deaths of two White County young people, Jacob C. Wheeler, 22, and Jessica M. Evans, 17, who died of gunshot wounds in the early morning hours of Sunday, August 26, 2012. All testimony was given by Sheriff Doug Maier of White County to a packed courtroom with nine deputies/COs as well as a handful of Illinois State Police investigators present. This is minimal, we know; bear with us.
On the evening of August 25, Danny Coston was at the New Haven Legion. (Earlier on that evening, we’ve been told by people who were there—and this was NOT part of Doug Maier’s testimony today—Coston was his normal old self: Quiet, friendly, nothing out of the ordinary.)
Coston left the Legion in New Haven, and decided he’d take his boat to the Little Wabash to do some fishing. He ended up hanging his boat up and was hopelessly stuck. There are a lot of details Maier gave in here, but these come from at least two conflicting stories coming from Coston and his live-in girlfriend, Candace Brown (please help us with the spelling if you know it, folks; we don’t know if it’s CandAce or CandIce). Those conflicting stories will be told in great detail in the print version; we’d like to put them here, but we can’t double do; right now print version must get done.
Not far away, a little over a mile, were the two kids at the campsite, whom he’d passed by on the way to the river. He walked back to their site, about 1.7 miles.
He asked if they’d help him get his boat unstuck. They said no, but they’d give him a ride back to his house in the Centerville area.
“No, I want you to pull my truck out,” Coston told the younger man.
Wheeler declined, and, according Coston “was shitty to him.” Wheeler reiterated the offer to take Coston home.
So Coston accepted a ride from Wheeler, who of course had Jessica Evans in the truck. Coston got in the bed of the truck.
As they proceeded to take Coston home, Coston pounded on the top of the cab for Wheeler to pull over, saying he wanted Wheeler to stop because he “wanted to get another drink” or something to that effect, this according to testimony from Sheriff Doug Maier. (Other reports, coming to us as issued by public officials, had it that Coston claimed he was “sick,” as in, he needed to throw up…which might be more in line with Wheeler stopping the vehicle.)
Wheeler pulled over.
Coston got out, proceeded to walk to the driver’s side, pulled out his (Coston’s) own .22-cal pistol and put a bullet in Wheeler’s head through the window. It was not specified whether the window was open or closed, but it likely was open. Coston opened the door, and Wheeler fell out into the ditch.
The girl of course started freaking out, screaming and asking Coston if Jake were going to be okay. Reassuring her he was, Coston got in to drive to a nearby wooded area. Evans, begging Coston not to shoot her, said she’d “do anything” but just don’t kill her. Coston took this to mean she’d have sex with him, and he pulled over.
They got out of the vehicle, Evans took her clothes off, Coston put his weapon down, and claimed that when they had sex “it was consensual.” In fact, he told Maier, “she held his hands the whole time they were having sex.”
But, realizing she had seen him shoot Wheeler, Coston said he knew he had to kill the girl, so he told Maier he shot her in the head twice, once in the side, which he didn’t think killed her; then once in the forehead, which he believed did. The coroner did say in early reports that she sustained three bullet wounds to the head. We’ll sort that out in the print version.
Coston put her in the bed of the truck, went back to the campsite and unhitched his boat from his truck, drove back to the county road (2210 N) to get Wheeler’s body, and took it to be disposed in Wayne County to the north of the Interstate.
Coston then used his truck to push the Wheeler truck, with Evans’ body in the bed, off the embankment and attempted to cover the girl’s body.
He showed up for work that next week. And according to sources, he didn’t act any differently than he had the week before this happened.
Missing truck parts Coston had lost while trying to get his boat in the water were located and typed against parts missing from Coston’s truck, which is what lead officers to Coston to question him.
This is in brief. There was further explanation of the rest of the matter during the 45 minutes of testimony Doug Maier gave of Coston’s information, given over several interviews on August 31, including how the parts of Coston’s bumper were found and where, how they were lost, etc. But we are in production for the next print version and will have to put it together there; we will give more here as we can. The hearing today was very, very crowded but very subdued. Thank you for reading; be patient with us as we get this next issue done, and be sure to pick up the current issue if you haven’t already. We appreciate you coming to Disclosure as your news source.
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