CLAY COUNTY, IL — The trial of a 31-year-old Edgewood man, who is one of three defendants charged in Clay County Court with first-degree murder of an elderly Edgewood man, has tentatively been set for August. Attorneys in the case against Walter West have agreed to first try him on the charges accusing him of the September 2021 murder of 80-year-old Roger Courson during a botched burglary of his rural Edgewood home.
A separate case charging West with escape will be tried separately and after the murder case. West is charged along with two Marion County men, Christopher Gallatin of Centralia, and Jamie Charlton of Salem. The three are also charged with residential burglary in connection with the case. In December 2021, Clay County authorities reported West had escaped following a visiting hour at the jail.. He was quickly captured after being found hiding along the Little Wabash River.
West is next due in court May 23 for a pre-trial hearing.