Police & Courts

Expert witness hired to review autopsy in Pittsfield beating death

William Poor
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Nov. 5, 2019 12:01 am

PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- An expert will be hired for the defense of a Pittsfield man charged in the beating death of another Pittsfield man.

Judge Frank McCartney approved the motion of William K. Poor's attorneys Ryan Schnack and Barney Bier to hire an expert to review the autopsy report in the death of Joshua Witherbee.

Poor was in court Monday for arraignment, though it was continued to Dec. 9 when the remaining pending motions, including one to suppress cellphone evidence, will be heard.

Pike County State's Attorney Zack Boren said a tentative jury trial was set for the last week of February 2020.

Poor, 24, faces two counts of first-degree murder, and one count of aggravated battery and obstruction of justice in the death of Witherbee, 26, who died March 29 at St. John's Hospital in Springfield.

Poor was arrested March 27 after the Pittsfield Police Department was called to the 300 block of Landess Terrace to assist the Pike County Ambulance Service with Witherbee, who had been in fight.

Poor is being held in the Illinois Department of Corrections on a four-year prison sentence in an unrelated case.

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