EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons announced first-degree murder charges Monday in the violent death of 68-year-old Collinsville resident Daniel A. Taylor.
Multiple charges were filed against Jessie James Werley, 34, and Eva D. Heisch, 45, following an investigation by the Collinsville Police Department and the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis.
On Dec. 8, 2015 Collinsville Police were dispatched to Taylor’s home in the 600 block of Ostle Drive after receiving a request for a welfare check. Taylor was discovered in his home with an apparent neck laceration and multiple stab wounds; the preliminary investigation suggested that he had been dead for nearly 48 hours. The Major Case Squad was activated shortly thereafter to assist with the investigation into Taylor’s murder.
A weeklong investigation led by members of the Major Case Squad determined the fatal injury resulted from a robbery in the victim’s home. Evidence shows Heisch was previously acquainted with the victim.
Both defendants face three counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery. Maximum penalty for a murder conviction is 20 to 60 years in prison in which the defendants are required to serve the entire sentence. Maximum penalty for armed robbery is 6 to 30 years with a requirement to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.
Gibbons commended the outstanding work of the Collinsville Police Department, the Major Case Squad and the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Violent Crimes Unit for their work in investigating and solving the case.
“These charges are the result of the relentless pursuit of justice by everyone involved in this investigation,” he said. “From the initial investigation, everyone knew this would be a challenging case to crack, but they never gave up and never stopped working to bring the perpetrators of this horrible crime to justice.”
He also recognized the outstanding work and cooperation of Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn and his staff, the Metro East Division of Forensic Sciences and members of the Illinois State Police, the Park Hills, Mo., Police Department, and the Farmington Police Department for their work on the case that led to Monday’s charges.
Werley is in custody of the St. Francois, Mo., County Jail, awaiting extradition. Heisch was taken into custody by the Collinsville Police Department. The defendants will be transferred to the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville, where they will be held on a $1,000,000 bond.
These charges, as well as the statements made herein, are based upon probable cause. The defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.