MT. VERNON – A 43-year-old Mount Vernon woman is the fifth person charged in connection to the murder last month of a 19-year-old man in Olney.
On Thursday, Misty D. Whipple was arrested on a Jefferson County warrant charging her with one count of aiding a fugitive for her alleged role in the September 6 murder of Kyle M. Johnson. Whipple is alleged to have helped 18-year-old Rick Meador flee from a warrant for his arrest issued in Illinois, renting a van used to take Meador and his 16-year-old girlfriend to Florida, with the intent to help him escape the law.
Whipple appeared in court Friday where bail was set at $30,000 and a pre-trial hearing in her case was scheduled for the morning of November 3. Meador, of Olney, was charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. He is currently being held at the Richland County Jail.
Johnson was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds at the intersection of North Walnut and East Laurel Street in Olney. He was taken to an area hospital where he died from his injuries. Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation Zone 8 officials was requested by the Olney Police Department to assist with the homicide investigation.
Meador and his girlfriend were believed to have initially fled from Olney to Mt. Vernon where a vehicle they were believed driving at the time was found. However, the pair was nowhere to be found. Both were later located and arrested in Florida before being returned to Illinois to face charges.
The first person arrested and charged in connection with Johnson’s death was 33-year-old Tara N. Haws, of Olney, who is the mother of Meador’s 16-year-old girlfriend.
Haws is charged in Richland County Court with first-degree murder by accountability, as is her daughter and 32-year-old Dale E. Boatman, Jr., all of Olney.