TUSCOLA - As two men appeared in court Friday in the shooting of a sheriff's deputy and a standoff in a central Illinois bank, police were investigating a link between the crime spree and a gruesome Chicago stabbing. | Photo gallery
Douglas County State's Attorney Kevin Nolan told reporters that William B. Thompson, 26, and Yusef Kareem Brown, 23, will be arraigned next week on charges that include attempted murder of a peace officer, armed robbery, aggravated vehicle hijacking, home invasion and kidnapping. Thompson, who stormed the bank, also could face an attempted bank robbery charge.
The two men were ordered held in lieu of $5 million bond each.
Meanwhile, Chicago Police spokeswoman Monique Bond says the car the men used was owned by a 40-year-old man whose stabbed body was found in a home on the city's South Side Thursday night.
"There were Satanic messages and paraphernalia at the crime scene,'' Bond said. She said detectives were sent to Arcola, the tiny Amish community 150 miles south of Chicago where Thompson is accused of taking five hostages in a bank before giving himself up several hours later.
Both Thompson and Brown have been convicted of felony drug charges and shared the same Chicago address, Nolan said. If convicted of the new charges, they could face a minimum of 21 years to 45 years in prison, he said outside court.
The charges stem from a crime spree that began during a midmorning traffic stop on Interstate 57 Thursday when the suspects sped off after a drug-sniffing dog was brought in to search the car they were in, Illinois State Police Sgt. Bill Emery said.
"We have no idea why they were down in this area,'' he said. "Interstate 57 is pretty much a pipeline to the drugs.''
The men allegedly robbed a house a few miles from there, ditched the car and stole both a van and a pickup truck, he said.
At a news conference Friday evening, Emery clarified the circumstances of the shooting of sheriff's deputy Tommy Martin, saying Martin had not pulled over one of the vehicles, as authorities previously reported. Rather his car was passing one of the stolen vehicles from the opposite direction when the driver opened fire, hitting Martin in the face and torso, Emery said.
Emery said he did not know which of the suspects shot Martin. After the shooting, the suspects abandoned the pickup truck and both got into the van.
Martin radioed for help and authorities chased the van at speeds of over 100 mph, with the suspects firing at them, before the driver lost control of the van as it careered over railroad tracks, and the suspects abandoned it, Emery said.
Brown was taken into custody immediately before he could flee. Thompson fled into the bank, authorities say.
"He was in, and he said, 'Get down,' and we saw the gun,'' Terri Cherry, a teller at the bank who was one of the hostages, said Friday.
"We were all in shock,'' said Cherry, who was released after about 20 minutes.
In all, Thompson released four hostages over seven hours. After speaking with an FBI hostage negotiator, he peacefully left the bank with the remaining hostage, who bound Thompson's hands before they walked out in a deal suggested by Thompson to negotiators, Emery said. A handgun was found inside the bank.
Martin remained hospitalized in critical condition Friday.
Douglas County Sheriff Charlie McGrew said he spoke with Martin Friday and that his condition had improved slightly.
"He would not want a big fuss made about him,'' McGrew said. "He was making every effort to protect the public.''
No one was in custody in connection with the stabbing of the Chicago man, identified by Chicago police as Arnie Graves. His body was found, police said, after his family requested a well-being check.
The numbers 666, associated with the Antichrist, were found at the scene, Bond said, but she did not elaborate.
Chicago police stressed their role in the investigation was in its early stages. They wouldn't discuss whether they believe the Chicago victim knew or had a link to the two men caught in Arcola.
"The only link right now that we can establish is the link of the vehicle that was found in Arcola being linked to the victim,'' First Deputy Superintendent Dana Starks said during a news conference at police headquarters.
At the South Side apartment were Graves lived, neighbor Bob Harper, 45, said Graves was, "a nice guy, friendly, and everybody here liked him.''
Graves also was obviously fond of his car, Harper said, recalling how the sight of him washing it in the alley behind the building would draw gentle ribbing from neighbors, who would joke that he ought to wash their cars, too.
Associated Press reporters Don Babwin and Karen Hawkins in Chicago contributed to this report.
9:03 a.m. Thursday: Illinois State police pull over two men in a silver Infiniti because the car's windows are tinted too darkly. Authorities say the men, William B. Thompson, 26, and Yusef Kareem Brown, 23, speed off after a drug-sniffing dog is brought in to search the car.
10:38 a.m. Thursday: Thompson and Brown allegedly rob a home a few miles away, and steal a van and a pickup truck. When Douglas County sheriff's deputy Tom Martin drives toward them shortly afterward, one man opens fire, hitting Martin in the face and torso. He is able to radio for help. The men abandon the pickup truck and both get into the van.
Thompson and Brown lead authorities on a high-speed chase that reaches speeds of up to 100 mph. before crashing the van in Arcola. Brown is taken into custody, while Thomspon flees on foot into the First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust in Arcola and takes five people hostage.
Four of the five hostages are released throughout the day.
An Illinois State police hostage negotiator talks with Thompson for up to two hours before Thompson requests that the FBI be called in. An FBI negotiator talks to Thompson every 15 to 30 minutes until they agree on a deal for surrender.
6:35 p.m. Thursday: Thompson surrenders peacefully after agreeing to lay down his weapon and allow the last hostage, bank manager Brad Pullen, to bind his hands. The two leave the bank together.
8:45 p.m. Thursday: Police find the owner of the silver Infiniti, Arnie Graves, 40, dead in his condo on Chicago's South Side after being asked by his family to conduct a well-being check. Graves has been stabbed to death, and several Satanic messages are found at the scene, including the numbers 666, associated with the Antichrist.
Friday: Thompson and Brown are ordered held in lieu of $5 million bond each. They are to be arraigned next week on charges including attempted murder of a peace officer, armed robbery, aggravated vehicle hijacking, home invasion and kidnapping. Thompson, who stormed the bank, also could face an attempted bank robbery charge.
No one is in custody in Graves' stabbing and Martin is listed in stable but critical condition.