Mulberry Grove man charged with first-degree murder for death of Brownstown cattleman

FAYETTE COUNTY — A 69-year-old Mulberry Grove man appeared in Fayette County Court Thursday where he was formally charged for the September 2017 murder of a 56-year-old James Skinner.

David Bright
(Source: FCSO)

David Leroy Bright was formally charged with two counts first-degree murder. Bright’s bail had already been set at $1 million.

Skinner was found dead September 17, 2017, at his home in Brownstown. At that time then Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen said it was obvious that someone had taken Skinner’s life; however, he did not release the cause of Skinner’s death and the case was placed under investigation.

On Wednesday, with the assistance of the Illinois State Police Investigations and the Fayette County State’s Attorney’s office, Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Bright on a warrant charging him with Skinner’s murder.

Bright informed the court Thursday that he may hire private counsel but at this time he’s been appointed a public defender and is scheduled for a February 13 preliminary hearing.

Skinner was described as a cattleman, involved in the raising and transportation of cattle.

Bright is a registered sex offender. He was sentenced in 2013 to 4-years in prison after he was convicted in Bond County of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl.

Since his release from prison Bright has been convicted once of felony violation of the sex offender registry and is currently listed as non-compliant.