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Man indicted in 30-year-old case

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
Steven Watts

DIXON – A grand jury on Wednesday indicted an Arkansas man on a charge of first-degree murder in the 1983 death of a Peoria man.

Steven Watts, 56, of Berryville, Ark., was arrested Feb. 28 in Arkansas. He is in Lee County Jail, accused in the death of Gary D. Dawson.

Authorities say Dawson died of blunt-force trauma to the head and that his battered body was found in a hog pen in rural Franklin Grove on Aug. 28, 1983.

Officials at the time said Dawson was beaten in Peoria County, although they did not know where he actually died.

All the players in the case had drug connections, Sheriff John Varga said.

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