Special Prosecutor Assigned Relating to Death of Clinton County Student

John Hudspeth, State’s Attorney for Clinton County, has announced that, at his request, a special prosecutor has been appointed into the matters relating to the death of Jacob Arter.  The matter remains under investigation by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and, pursuant to court order, is now to be prosecuted by the office of the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor (SAAP).
Jacob J. Arter, 18, of Breese died early Sunday morning after he was beaten at a private clubhouse in rural Clinton County. Arter, a senior at Central Community High School in Breese, was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital at 2:24 a.m. Sunday.
Arter is the son James “Jim” and Suzanne Arter.  He was a senior at Central High School and on the football team for all four years. He worked part time at PJ’s Restaurant in Breese
A suspect remains in custody Tuesday at a juvenile detention center in connection with the death of Arter.  The suspects name has not been released.
According to State’s Attorney Hudspeth, “Until now, the Clinton County State’s Attorney’s Office has been providing support to the Sheriff’s Office since early Sunday morning when the incident happened.  However, I am related to the family of a juvenile suspect now in custody in this investigation.  I have had a close relationship with many members of the suspect’s family for decades.  In order to avoid any claim of error which might result from a conflict of interests and to avoid the appearance of impropriety, I had no choice but to ask the court to appoint a special prosecutor.  Under Illinois law, any conflicts of the State’s Attorney are also conflicts of his assistant state’s attorneys (ASAs), so none of our Clinton County ASAs could prosecute these matters in my place.  The court agreed with our motion and appointed SAAP.  SAAP will now provide that support, make charging decisions, and appear in court for the People of the State of Illinois.”
State’s Attorney Hudspeth added, “Earlier today, Sheriff Maue and I discussed this matter with one of Jacob Arter’s parents.  The parent understood these concerns, agreed and thanked us for contacting them to let them know about the appointment of the special prosecutor.  Later this morning, while the special prosecutor from SAAP was in my office, I called the parent again to introduce them and facilitate future communications between them.”
State’s Attorney Hudspeth urges anyone with information in this matter to contact the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office at 594-4555.  The Sheriff will then share the information with the special prosecutor.
Funeral services for Arter will be held on Thursday, April 27, at 10 a.m. at Moss Funeral Home in Breese. Pastor Ronald Lindley and Brother Paul Hall presiding. Interment Ellwood Cemetery, Breese.
Memorials can be made to his family and will be received at the funeral home.

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