DECATUR — The investigation of a double homicide in the Park City mobile home neighborhood remained active Thursday, although no arrests were anticipated beyond that of a 20-year-old man arrested the day before, Detective Sgt. Chris Copeland said.
Kwantrevis D. Richardson faces two preliminary charges of first-degree murder in the incident, which police said was reported shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday. Detectives worked intensively throughout the night of Halloween and during the day Wednesday before announcing Richardson's arrest.
Macon County Coroner Michael E. Day identified the victims Thursday as Michael E. Roberts-Mathenia, 43, and Johnathan T. Ballance, 34.
In a statement, Day said they died of multiple gunshot wounds Tuesday at an address in the 3100 block of North Kent Avenue. Day said both men were hit in the “head, neck and torso.”
Copeland said detectives had more witnesses they needed to talk to and appealed for anyone else with information to call (217) 424-2734. Sworn police affidavits with more information about the case were not available Thursday.
Macon County Circuit Court records shows that Richardson is on probation for a 2017 drug offense and, before that, had been arrested in August 2016 after police stopped a car they said was driven by a known drug dealer. Crack cocaine and more than $1,000 in cash was seized from the vehicle. Richardson, a passenger, was found in possession of a stolen and loaded .380 caliber handgun.
The weapon had been reported stolen in Indianapolis in 2011 and a sworn affidavit quoted Richardson as saying he had bought the gun from a man he met at an Indianapolis gas station.
He had at first pleaded not guilty but later switched to a guilty plea on a charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was given 24 months probation and ordered to do 100 hours community service work. But court records show Richardson's probation was marked as “violated” in April after he was arrested on charges of possession of drugs with intent to deliver and aggravated fleeing and eluding.
The fleeing and eluding charge was later dropped and Richardson pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver, and a court hearing placed him back on probation June 27.
Macon County State's Attorney Jay Scott said Thursday that it's not unusual for an offender to be given a second chance at probation when, as in the case of Richardson, they do not have an extensive criminal record.
Roberts-Mathenia and Ballance are the city's seventh and eighth homicides of 2017.
Police have made arrests in six and continue to seek leads in two others: Jesse M. Basse, 40, of Decatur, who was found dead Sept. 15 of multiple gunshot wounds, and Andrian T. Chatman, 21, found dead Sept. 26.
In 2016, there were four reported homicides in Decatur. In 2015, there were seven. In the last decade, the largest number of homicides in Decatur was 2011, when 10 were reported, according to police department statistics.