Indictment filed in Amboy homicide
DIXON – An Amboy man was indicted for murder Monday in the death of a 79-year-old man beaten in his home last month.
The indictment charges Matthew W. Welling, 32, with five counts of first-degree murder and two counts of home invasion in the death of Delmar Leroy Daniels, also of Amboy.
Defendants often are charged with multiple counts of the same crime, the legal elements of which vary enough to give the judge or jury options when considering a verdict.
According to Monday's indictment, Welling struck Daniels "on and about the head" with the intent to kill him; with the intent to do great bodily harm; while knowing the act would cause Daniels' death; while knowing the act created the strong probability of death or great bodily harm; and while committing a home invasion. He faces 20 to 60 years in prison, or a life sentence.
An indictment is like an insurance policy for the prosecution: The grand jury, which meets in secret, hears the state's evidence and returns a bill of indictment if it determines the case is strong enough to obtain a conviction. Grand jurors do not decide a defendant's guilt.
Welling, who is represented by Lee County Public Defender Bob Thompson, is in Lee County Jail on $2 million bond; he has a status hearing Thursday.
Police found Daniels lying in a pool of blood in his West Main Street home about 7 p.m. July 18. His disabled wife, Betty, was pinned against a wall, her motorized scooter on top of her.
According to court documents:
She told police a man knocked on their door about 2 a.m., struggled with her husband and stabbed him with a pair of scissors.
Welling later admitted to being at the Danielses' home after drinking at an Amboy bar, and said there was "lots of blood." He also said he lost his clothing and a necklace with a container of his brother's ashes when he was running away.
Those items were found in the home, the documents say.
Investigators have said that they have found no ties between Welling and Daniels, and that Welling was staying in different homes in Amboy at the time of Daniels' death.
Welling has ties to Lee County dating back to at least 1998, court records show. He also has ties to DeKalb County and Florida, police said.
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