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BLOOMINGTON — Forensic reports have been turned over to the defense lawyers for a Marquette Heights man accused of murder in the July 2017 death of a woman at a nature preserve near McLean.

After requesting several changes in hearing dates, the lawyer for Matthew Isbell arrived about two hours after Wednesday’s scheduled 11 a.m. hearing.

Isbell is charged with taking part in the killing of Teresa Ann Poehlman, 47, of East Peoria, on July 2 at Funk’s Grove Nature Preserve.

His co-defendant Christine Roush, 22, of Washington, pleaded guilty to murder in January and was sentenced to 40 years for stabbing the victim, who was her biological mother.

Assistant State’s Attorney David Spence said DNA test results on evidence in the case have been provided to the defense.

Defense lawyer Jason Polcyn said he planned to meet with Isbell at the jail after the hearing to review evidence in the case.

A May 7 jury trial is set on the murder charges. Isbell’s next court appearance is an April 6 status hearing.

Information disclosed in the Roush case indicates that Isbell told police that Poehlman was killed after she threatened to tell authorities that Roush was working as a prostitute. Such a report could interfere with Roush's effort to have custody of her daughter, according to police.

According to a statement from State's Attorney Jason Chambers, Roush told Isbell that she planned to kill her mother and that he knew the killing was the purpose for the trip to the nature preserve.

Isbell has denied taking part in the murder that includes blows to the victim's head, multiple stab wounds and strangulation.   

Follow Edith Brady-Lunny on Twitter: @pg_blunny


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