WASHINGTON COUNTY — An apparent division has appeared between a Missouri couple accused in Washington County court of shooting at Wamac and Centralia police as they took the officers on a high-speed pursuit over the summer.
Washington County prosecutors had filed a motion to combine the cases of 40-year-old Jared Queen of St. Clair, Missouri, and his 40- year-old passenger Maria Moore, of Wright City, Missouri.
On Tuesday Queen’s attorney objected to combining the cases, while Moore’s defense had no objection to being tried along with her codefendant.
Judge Gene Gross denied the prosecution’s motion to consolidate and the two cases will proceed separately, despite sharing almost identical facts and circumstances.
An October 21 jury trial date was confirmed last month for both defendants. If the state had delayed the trial the defendants would have had to waive their rights to speedy trials, as they both remain in the Washington County Jail.
An October 18 final pretrial date has been scheduled for both Queen and Moore.
Both are charged with Class X felony attempted first-degree murder, and five counts Class X felony counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm at a peace officer.
Moore is also facing two Class 3 felony counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and misdemeanor charges of reckless conduct and resisting a peace officer.
Queen is also facing Class X armed violence, Class 2 and Class 3 felony charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, Class 4 felony aggravated fleeing, and misdemeanor charges of reckless conduct and resisting a peace officer.
Queen and Moore reportedly took Centralia and Wamac officers on a pursuit in July that started in Centralia and continued for more than 30 minutes and through multiple jurisdictions before ending in Coulterville, in Randolph County, Illinois.
As the pursuit sped through Washington County, Queen reportedly began firing a rifle at officers from the driver’s door, while Moore allegedly began firing at officers from the vehicle’s sunroof.