The girlfriend of double murder suspect Danny K. Coston, 36, Centerville, was arrested Monday in Richland County on a White County arrest warrant accusing her of lying to investigators during the double homicide investigation into the deaths of Jacob Wheeler and Jessica Evans.
A White County Sheriff's Office incident report said Candice M. Brown was booked at the Richland County Jail in Olney on a White County warrant alleging the offense of obstruction of justice, a class 4 felony. She posted $2,000 cash bail and was released from custody pending a court appearance.
According to a criminal information report filed Monday in White County Circuit Court, Brown is accused of knowingly furnishing false information to White County Sheriff Doug Maier concerning the whereabouts of Coston during the early morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, in that she informed Maier that Coston was at his Centerville home with her until he left around 5 or 6 a.m.
Coston remains in custody at the City-County Jail in Carmi pending $3 million bond on nine criminal charges. The charges are five class M murder charges, one class X felony charge of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two class X felony charges of aggravated battery with a firearm and one class 3 felony charge of concealing a homicidal death.
Coston is accused of killing Wheeler and Evans in remote northern White County east of Centerville with a .22-caliber handgun then disposing of their bodies during the early morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. Additionally, he is accused of sexually assaulting Evans prior to her murder.
Evans and Wheeler were reported missing later in the day on Aug. 26 when they failed to return from a camping and fishing trip along the Little Wabash River east of Centerville. Evans' body was discovered Monday, Aug. 27, behind an abandoned farm about 1.7 miles south of the pair's campsite.
During the search for Wheeler, parts from a damaged pickup were discovered that led authorities to Coston's truck.
He was picked up for questioning Friday, Aug. 31, and, according to testimony provided by Sheriff Maier during a preliminary hearing held Wednesday morning in White County Circuit Court, he provided authorities with information that led to the discovery later that Friday night of Wheeler's badly decomposed body in remote southeastern Wayne County down a seldom-traveled farm lane.
Autopsies showed both victims died from gunshot wounds to the head. An exhaustive search for the firearm used in the homicides was conducted using specialized equipment in many instances, but failed to find the weapon.
Evans was a senior at Norris City-Omaha-Enfield High School and lived with her mother in Norris City. Wheeler recently returned home from a tour of duty in Iraq as a member of an ordinance disposal unit of the U.S. Army and lived at least part time with his father in Centerville, not far from where Coston lived. He is also survived by a wife who lives in another state.
Page 2 of 2 - Coston was working for a local electrical contractor and had accompanied a co-worker to the New Haven American Legion the Saturday night prior to the murders.
Coston reportedly left the Legion late Saturday night and gave his co-worker a ride home before departing for a fishing trip of his own on the Little Wabash River east of Centerville where he told authorities he encountered Evans and Wheeler.
Coston is due back in court Wednesday (tomorrow) for formal arraignment on the nine charges. White County Circuit Court Judge Thomas H. Sutton found probable cause to proceed to trial following last week's testimony provided by Maier.
The state is represented by White County State's Attorney T. Scott Webb and Assistant White County State's Attorney Denton Aud.
Coston is represented by court appointed counsel Jerry Crisel of Albion and his co-counsel, Carmi attorney Rhonda Blades.