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Benton Evening News - Benton, IL
  • Elkville man charged in death of Bonnie woman

  • Donald A. Lee, 39, of Elkville has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after Benton police officers were dispatched to 204 E. Main St. in reference to a female being shot.
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  • Donald A. Lee, 39, of Elkville has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after Benton police officers were dispatched to 204 E. Main St. in reference to a female being shot.
    Lee, according to court records, in 1991 faced a charge of attempting to kill another man with a firearm.
    The victim in the current case, Brittany M. Andrews, 23, of Bonnie was found when officers responded to the parking lot of Vickee's Card Shop at 11:20 p.m. Friday, May 17.
    Early reports of the tragedy had listed Andrews' home as Whittington.
    Andrews was transported to the Franklin Hospital and Coroner Marty Leffler said he received a report she was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m. as the result of a gunshot wound to the head.
    Leffler said an autopsy was performed Sunday morning.
    As the Benton Police Department, Illinois State Police Crime Scene Unit and the county coroner's office continues the investigation, Leffler said funeral arrangements have been set.
    He said services are being held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 at Leffler - Poulson Funeral Home of Benton.
    Leffler said visitation will be held from noon until 2 p.m. at the funeral home.
    "Per Brittany's wishes, she will be cremated," he said. "The Rev. Mike Kniffen will officiate during the funeral services."
    Kniffen, an associate pastor at the Second Baptist Church of West Frankfort, spoke to members of Andrews' family and friends of the family during a candlelight vigil held Sunday night on the parking lot where she met her death.
    He told the mourners she was a good person who had gone through a rehabilitation program.
    "Is she in heaven?" he asked the crowd. "Only God knows," he said, revealing she had recently expressed a profession of faith.
    Kniffen described Andrews as "a fellow human being living in a fallen world."
    Holding aloft a Bible, he urged any in the throng who is not familiar with a Bible to read one.
    He concluded his message by urging friends and family to comfort each other.
    The obituary for Brittany Andrews is on Page 5A of Tuesday's newspaper and on the website of The Benton Evening News.
    Andrews' family requests memorial contributions be made to the family to offset expenses. To sign the online memorial guestbook, visit www.lpfuneralhome.com.
    According to Franklin County court documents, Lee was charged with attempted first degree murder after firing a gun at Dempsey Summers in 1991.
    He was charged on April 1, 1991, along with one count of armed robbery and home invasion. A guilty plea was filed in Franklin County Circuit Court in July 1991.
    Page 2 of 2 - Lee, then 17, was charged with one count each of armed robbery and home invasion.
    A string of traffic offenses dating from 2000 to 2007 were also filed. The offenses range from disobeying a stop sign to operating an uninsured motor vehicle.
    Those charges were later dismissed.
    Lee was also found guilty of driving on a suspended driver's license in 2006.
    Benton Police Chief Mike Andrews said investigation continues.

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