DECATUR – Police arrested the three key suspects Sunday afternoon in the murder of Demesheo M. Lovelace, who had been found shot to death the evening of July 2 in the 900 block of South Main Street.
In a statement, Sgt. Christopher Copeland said the suspects – Joseph Fox, 27, Darelle Fox, 31, and Shawn Eubanks, 25 – were taken into custody without incident about 3:30 p.m at the same address in the 400 block of North Calhoun Street.
They were arrested in a joint operation between Decatur Police and the U.S. Marshals Service, Copeland said. The suspects had been sought on warrants for first degree murder and were being held in the Macon County Jail.
“This is an ongoing investigation, more arrests are possible,” Copeland added in the statement.
The death of 36-year-old Lovelace has been linked to other crimes, apparently committed in revenge for the killing. A home associated with one of his murder suspects in the 700 block of West King Street was destroyed in a suspicious fire in the early hours of Monday morning following the murder; firefighters later found a dog near the home had been shot to death.
And now police reports from Friday say the 56-year-old mother of one of the arrested murder suspects told them she had been receiving harassing phone calls and threatening text messages at her Decatur home. The somewhat garbled messages included the phrase “get your daughter.”
Sgt. Josh Sheets said the woman has a daughter and officers called and checked on that woman to make sure she was safe. He said the daughter had not received any threatening messages herself but she was still afraid.
“She was concerned for her and her family's safety, just because of what was going on,” Sheets added. “She (the daughter) said she was leaving town for a while to stay somewhere else.”
As police investigations into the murder continue, Sgt. Copeland said anyone with information concerning the crime is urged to contact the Decatur Police Detective Bureau at (217) 424-2734 or CrimeStoppers at (217) 423-8477.
Despite this homicide and a spate of recent shooting and wounding incidents, Decatur and Macon County enjoys a much lower rate of violent crime, murder, rape, robbery and assault then other areas of the state. Data collected by Graphiq.com reveals Macon County's rate of 23.8 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents is lower than neighboring counties such as Christian, 206 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, and Piatt, with 121 violent crimes per 100,000.