Police & Courts

Trial of Pittsfield man charged in women's death unlikely until October

David Sampley
By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 14, 2019 5:10 pm Updated: May. 14, 2019 5:26 pm

PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- The trial of a Pittsfield man charged in the June 2018 death of a Pittsfield woman will not take place until at least October.

Court records show that the arraignment of David M. Sampley was continued to June 25 after he appeared Tuesday in Pike County Circuit Court with a trial starting no earlier than Oct. 25.

Records also show that Sampley's appointed attorney, Walker Filbert, must provide a proposed expert and fee structure to the Pike County state's attorney's office and Judge Frank McCartney. Filbert filed a motion in March seeking to hire an expert to review autopsy results.

Sampley, 64, faces two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated domestic battery, criminal sexual abuse and domestic battery in the June 4, 2018, death of Sharon Welch, 61.

He is accused of killing Welch by sticking a sock in her mouth and walking on her. Autopsy results found that Welch died from obstruction of the airway and blunt force trauma to the chest cavity.

Sampley was arrested June 4 after the Pittsfield Police Department and the Pike County Sheriff's Department responded to a reported domestic dispute about 7 p.m. in the 600 block of Clarksville Road.

Officers found Welch unresponsive, and she was later pronounced dead at Illini Community Hospital.

Sampley was initially found unfit to stand trial but was found to have improved mental fitness in January.

He is in custody of the Pike County Sheriff's Department but is being held at McFarland Mental Health Center in Springfield. Bond remains at $2 million.

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