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RAMEY TRIAL: Dale DeRyke excused from jury duty

Justin DeRyke

Posted by on Monday, September 11th, 2017 @ 10:10 pm.

EFFINGHAM, Ill. - It was probably one of the most uncomfortable moments of the day today...but probably not as uncomfortable as when one prospective juror got his notice in the mail.

Dale DeRyke

Dale DeRyke, grandfather of Willow Long, the 7-year-old child who was murdered four years ago by her uncle Justin DeRyke, now 26, in Watson, was called for jury duty for the fitness trial for Glen Ramey.

Justin DeRyke

It's unclear when the elder DeRyke received his jury duty questionnaire, but it had to have been a miserable thing for him to have been told what the jury call was for, as Ramey is accused of murdering a little girl only a year older than DeRyke's granddaughter was when she was killed in early September of 2013: Sabrina Stauffenberg was 8 when she died in Olney last Novrmber.

Generally speaking, when a prospective juror gets a questionnaire and summons in the mail, they have no idea what the call is for; usually, they find out only when they arrive at the courthouse and preparations are being set in place.

Evidently, someone told DeRyke about it prior to today's jury seating; Richland County resident Judge Larry Dunn, presiding over the Ramey fitness trial in Effingham, announced today to the rest of the prospective jurors that DeRyke had been called, and he had already been excused. As far as we could tell, he wasn't even at the courthouse.

It was four years ago this week that the horror of the reality of Willow's death was setting in, and all of downstate Illinois was riveted to coverage of the story Dale DeRyke's son Justin was telling...which wasn't matching up to what authorities found when they analyzed Willow's body and the crime scenes.

Glenn Ramey

So it was a chilling and uncomfortable start to what's probably going to be a somewhat chilling and uncomfortable trial...something folks don't get to see very often: A fitness trial to determine whether Glen Ramey, 54, is mentally capable of facing his accusers and assisting in his own defense. In other words, Ramey says he's crazy; the state says he's not; and his attorney is saying he might be, let's present the evidence and see.

But they haven't said it yet. Opening statements and the actual presenting of evidence and witnesses will pick up in the morning (Tuesday, September 12)...something which surprised us.

Jury selection kicked off this morning at about 9:20 after some housekeeping by the court officials. And it didn't take long to get the 14 they needed (12 jurors and two alternates) - just two panels. There were eight selected from the first panel, and six from the second. It was all done and over with by noon today, and we were all sent home.

Ramey was present in street clothes, but it wasn't easy to tell that from the back of the gallery. He had on what appeared to be a faded red polo-type shirt that appeared to have been washed too often...and it was very nearly faded-jail-orange as a result. He had on black jeans with it, so the jail togs were gone for the duration of the fitness trial, something for which Ramey's attorney, Jim Lane had asked and received: Ramey would appear in street clothes.

If only he would appear a little less unkempt, he might not look so creepy. Ramey has let his beard grow out, and it didn't look a whole lot better today than it looked several months ago when he was trying to grow it. And his hair has grown out considerably...so the best word to describe him, the nicest word to use, is "scruffy."

It's unclear whether the prospective jurors would use that, though. When the several panels were brought into the courtroom, Ramey (not shackled nor handcuffed, something that was also determined in pretrial motions) turned to face them, and stared at them out from under his bushy eyebrows, resembling for all the world another high-profile crim, Charles Manson (he does kinda look like Manson...and even more so now that his hair is so wild).

It was a creepy moment.

Anyway, we're set to hear the state present its case starting in the morning. They have called seven witnesses: Dr. Jack Cole, Dr. Jerry Boyd, Richland County Correctional Officer Melissa Belcher, Richland County Deputy Robert Sacowicz, Richland County Jail Administrator Jerry Doan, attorney and former Olney mayor Ray Vaughn, ISP Special Agent Tim Brown, and, as predicted in the current issue's front-page article, Richland County Circuit Clerk Zac Holder. Holder is expected to issue testimony about how Ramey was behaving in Small Claims court about six to eight hours before Sabrina's body was found not far from Richland's own courthouse, across the street from the vinegar plant November 23; Ramey had pursued his own Small Claims case against former Olney mayor Tommie Fehrenbacher on that day, the very day Sabrina was raped, then murdered...but yet Ramey insists that he's not competent to stand trial.

We'll see.

Look for more info, hopefully a couple of updates per day, as we cover this difficult but intriguing trial. We were told today that this will last until Friday, so we're here for the duration: Set a tab and keep it open, mark your notifications/RSS feeds, hit up our social networking pages, and watch it with us; we'll bring you every development, with details to follow in the next print version, on stands September 26; and be sure to pick up the current issue either on stands or here at the site through the e-Edition...it's the best way to read all things Ramey and to know what's happening in YOUR area.

Short URL: https://www.disclosurenewsonline.com/?p=95297

Posted by on Sep 11 2017. Filed under Breaking, Effingham, Richland. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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