JEFFERSON COUNTY — First-degree murder charges against a 36-year-old Du Quoin man were dismissed nolle pros today in Jefferson County Court, leaving prosecutors with the option to reinstate charges at a later date if needed.
Dwaine McDonald was arrested in February and charged with two counts first-degree murder in connection with the August 2010 shooting death of Deon Feggins, as he rode his bicycle on a Mt. Vernon street. McDonald was scheduled for a June 14 jury trial.
Jefferson County State’s Attorney Doug Hoffman said the decision to dismiss the charges against McDonald was made after reassessing evidence in the case and determining that it did not support the state taking him to jury trial on murder charges at this time.
Two other defendants were charged this year in connection with Feggins’ death, following a lengthy investigation. Marventi D. Palmer pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in exchange for his cooperation against the two other defendants
Palmer had already been sentenced to 29-years in prison for an unrelated 2013 conviction. Following Palmer’s guilty plea in the Feggins murder case, prosecutors filed murder charges against McDonald and Edward Gilbert.
Shortly after filing the new charges, it was discovered that Gilbert had recently passed away in the Chicago area, and charges against him were dismissed due to his death.
Hoffman says the charges against McDonald had been filed based upon his alleged role as an accomplice. He says at no time did the evidence suggest he was the actual shooter in the incident in question.