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Man charged in Deputy Weist's death makes 1st court appearance

Daylon Richardson faces two counts of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, aggravated fleeing and eluding.

CAMBRIDGE, Illinois — The man charged in connection with the death of Knox County Sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Weist had his first appearance Monday, May 9 at the Henry County Courthouse.

On April 29, Galesburg police responded to the report of a person with a gun at the Circle K Gas Station on Main Street. Officers attempted a traffic stop before the suspect, Daylon Richardson, fled north on U.S. Highway 150.

Weist was setting up spike strips on the intersection of US-150 and 150 Avenue in Henry County when he was struck and killed by Richardson's vehicle.

Richardson, 22 of Granite City, Illinois, crashed into a field just north of the intersection. He was apprehended after a brief foot chase. Police arrested him on two counts of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, aggravated fleeing and eluding.

RELATED: How QC community is stepping up in support of fallen Knox County Sheriff's deputy

At Monday's preliminary hearing, the courtroom was crowded with members of law enforcement, including those from Weist's own department. 

Richardson had not hired a lawyer ahead of Monday's hearing, despite previously telling the court he would obtain his own attorney. 

Circuit Judge Terry Patton pressed Richardson on why he hadn't. The defendant replied he had been unemployed since 2020 and had been 'bumming' around for food and shelter since then. 

Patton agreed to grant him a public defender that will represent him moving forward.

The judge also ordered, at the request of the Henry County state's attorney, to impound all information related to Richardson's other open cases. This effectively seals those records to everyone except the judge and both parties involved until the Henry County investigation is concluded. 

Richardson is facing criminal felony charges related to felony possession of a weapon and fleeing policy as well as a felony cannabis charge and a felony charge of 'mob action' in Madison County, Illinois. According to the county's online court records, Richardson was expected in Court for those charges on May 2 and May 20. 

Richardson's next court appearance in Henry County is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, May 23.

To follow our coverage of Richards' court case, download the WQAD News 8 app and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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