- Associated Press - Sunday, April 16, 2017

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A published report shows jail visits of up to eight hours between a southern Illinois judge and a parolee who lived with him for a period of time and was later charged with first degree murder.

Ron Duebbert, who won election in November, was placed on administrative duties following a January complaint filed against him with the Judicial Inquiry Board that accuses him of violating rules of judicial conduct during the murder investigation involving parolee, David E. Fields.

Fields was convicted for battery of a pregnant woman, paroled in October and lived with Duebbert. Months later, Fields was back in custody and charged in the December killing of Carl Z. Silas.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports (https://bit.ly/2oeyPSQ ) Duebbert, a St. Clair County circuit judge, regularly visited Fields in jail. The newspaper cites visitor logs obtained through a lawsuit after being denied an information request.

Duebbert was elected to his position in November, defeating former Chief Judge John Baricevic. The documents obtained by the News-Democrat show he visited Fields in jail monthly, and sometimes more often, before Fields was released on parole in October.

The News-Democrat reports that as a sitting judge, Duebbert is restricted from talking about the Fields criminal case or investigation by the Judicial Inquiry Board. A phone number associated with the judge appeared to be disconnected and a message sent to court clerks by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

In previous statements, Duebbert said that he was “being Christian” and trying to help Fields get his life together.

Documents show that Fields lived at Duebbert’s home for a period of time last year, but was instructed to move Dec. 2.

Duebbert took the bench in early December and had been removed from all felony cases before the end of the month. After Silas’ death, St. Clair County Chief Judge Andrew Gleeson removed Duebbert from handling any cases.


Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, https://www.bnd.com

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