An Illinois man who has been fighting deadbeat parent charges in Putnam County since 2010 has left town charged with much more serious crimes.
Sheriff's detectives from Will County, Ill., traveled to the Putnam County Jail on Friday with an arrest warrant for Marcus D. Jones, 31, Mokena, Ill.
He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the 2001 slaying of 20-year-old Terrance Chandler.
Jones originally ran afoul of the law in Putnam County in February 2010, when he was charged with Class D felony neglect of a dependent for $3,372 in back child support.
He has been fighting the case off and on since then, with bond posted, then revoked and a number of continuances and bond reduction hearings. Jones even called for a paternity test at one point.
On Friday, things seemed to be coming to a close when Jones entered a guilty plea and was set to be released on his own recognizance for an April 27 sentencing.
But everything changed when the court received word from the Putnam County Jail of Jones' Illinois warrant.
A Friday afternoon hearing for a change of plea and extradition was quickly organized. Jones entered a guilty plea to the neglect charge and was sentenced to time served and a $465 fine. In the extradition portion of the hearing Jones waived his extradition rights.
He was then turned over to the Will County Sheriff's Department for transport.
If Jones is found guilty in his Illinois case, the penalties will be much stiffer.
Chandler was found lying dead in a roadway near Loretta, Ill., on May 15, 2001. An autopsy determined he had been shot four times. Four spent .45 caliber shell casings were also found at the scene.
During the initial investigation, Will County Sheriff's detectives found no witnesses, but questioned Jones as a person of interest. Jones provided an alibi that was confirmed by others.
When all leads were exhausted, the homicide investigation went cold.
New information recently came to light that led Will County authorities to reopen the case. Upon interviewing witnesses and examining the new evidence, police took the case to the Will County State's Attorney's Office, which issued the warrant against Jones.
Bond for the murder charges was set at $2.5 million.