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Friday, September 20, 2019

Suspect found not guilty at October trial over weapons charge, now sees his jailer charged

By Record News | Dec 20, 2017

BELLEVILLE – Tables turned for suspect Willie Long, who beat a felony charge and now sees his jailer facing two felony charges. 

On the date of his arrest last September, according to state police, former St. Clair County jail officer Zachary Kurtz took currency from him. 

Kurtz committed two kinds of official misconduct, according to felony counts that state police investigator Jerri Hochmuth filed on Dec. 1. 

She alleged that he exceeded his lawful authority to gain personal advantage, and that he knowingly performed an act he knew was forbidden. 

As Class 3 felonies, both charges carry sentences from two to five years. 

Hochmuth didn’t specify the amount Kurtz allegedly took from Long, but a separate charge of misdemeanor theft shows the amount didn’t exceed $500. 

The docket carries a notice that, “Case has pending grand jury actions.” 

Kurtz pleaded not guilty before St Clair County Associate Judge Janet Hormberg on Dec. 5. 

Defense attorney Justin Kuehn of Belleville entered an appearance for Kurtz on Dec. 8. 

The arrest warrant showed an address in Lenzburg, but Kelley wrote a Marissa address on an arraignment order. 

The paths of Kurtz and Long crossed on Sept. 7, 2016, after East St. Louis police arrested Long and charged him as a felon in possession of a weapon. 

Long stood trial this Oct. 16, and jurors found him not guilty.    

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St. Clair County Sheriff's Office