Arizona man facing first-degree murder charges in highway stabbing

Jospeh M. Coffman (Submitted Photo)
Posted: Jul. 21, 2014 6:28 pm Updated: Aug. 4, 2014 7:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

An Arizona man accused of stabbing his half-brother to death over the weekend early Saturday morning is facing first-degree murder charges.

Pike County State's Attorney Matt Goetten formally charged Joseph M. Coffman, 28, of Fort McDowell, Ariz., with first-degree murder on Monday in Pike County Circuit Court. Coffman is charged with stabbing his half-brother, Dennis S. Coffman, 47, of Petersburg, multiple times with a knife on Saturday. He was charged Saturday with aggravated battery when he was detained, but the charge was amended when it was officially filed Monday afternoon.

Joseph Coffman is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday morning. He is being held without bail in the Pike County Jail. Bail will be set at Tuesday's hearing.

If convicted, Coffman faces between 20 and 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the Class M felony charge. Goetten said that law enforcement has spent most of the last 48 hours investigating the incident.

Dennis Coffman was pronounced dead at Hannibal (Mo.) Regional Hospital from apparent knife wound injuries suffered in an altercation that is believed to have taken place inside a 2009 Chevrolet Colorado pickup.

Pike County 911 received an emergency call at 12:54 a.m. Saturday regarding a stabbing inside a motor vehicle on Interstate 72 at Mile Marker 1 near Mark Twain Memorial Bridge. Pike County Sheriff Paul Petty said authorities believe the altercation took place while the vehicle was traveling from Missouri into Illinois.

Goetten said the investigation into the incident is ongoing.