Second Suspect in Princeville Homicides Arraigned

Oct 31, 2018

Assistant State's Attorney Dave Kenny, left, Judge Sean Donahue, middle, Public Defender Dennis Murkley, right, appear in Matthew Roberts' video arraignment hearing in Peoria County court on October 31, 2018.
Credit Peoria Public Radio/Tanya Koonce

20-year-old Matthew Roberts is facing two counts of murder just like the son of the Princeville couple who was killed late last week.

Roberts appeared in a Peoria County courtroom Wednesday via video.

Jose Ramirez and Roberts allegedly purchased two cans of pepper spray one for each of them to use. Both confessed to using them in the murders of Susan Brill de Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron. But it’s unclear how much of an active participant Roberts may have been. His left arm is amputated above the elbow.

State's Attorney Dave Kenny, left, and Judge Sean Donahue, right, are in Peoria County court during Jose Rameriz's video conference arraignment hearing on October 30, 2018. Ramirez is pictured on the television screen. Public Defender Caryn Kamp is seated across from Kenny and is not pictured.
Credit Peoria Public Radio/Tanya Koonce


Peoria County charging state’s attorney Dave Kenney says obviously Roberts is not as actively involved as Ramirez, but he is involved in the on the planning, execution and cover up:


“So it may be by accountability but he is accountable for every darn part. He’s obviously somewhat lesser accountable than the co-defend as far as actually causing the deaths. But his activity certainly raises to the level where he is culpable for two deaths and he is fairly facing the natural life imprisonment," says Kenney.

Jose Ramirez’s mother and father were both 63-years-old. That means a conviction on the murder charges would carry a 60-100 year prison term and a maximum $25-thousand dollar fine.

Jose Ramirez and Matthew Roberts are each held on $3-million bond. They are due back in court November 29th. Matters of this nature typically are put before a grand jury. That could change the court schedule.