Law Enforcement

Bond set at $5 million in Cullom triple-homicide – News – Journal Star

PONTIAC — Bond was set at $5 million Friday for a state corrections officer charged with the shooting deaths of his wife, his son and another man.

Clifford W. Brewer, 53, of Cullom appeared in Livingston County Circuit Court, where he was charged with six counts of first-degree murder.

Livingston County State’s Attorney Randy Yedinak asked Judge Jennifer Bauknecht to set bond at $5 million. Though public defender Scott Ripley asked for a bond of $100,000, the judge sided with Yedinak. For release from the Livingston County Jail, Brewer would have to post $500,000 cash.

The six counts regard different legal aspects regarding the murders of the three victims. If convicted of all counts, Brewer faces a mandatory life sentence.

Brewer is a corrections officer at Pontiac Correctional Center, a maximum-security state prison. Brewer, who has no criminal convictions, had worked with the Illinois Department of Corrections since 2001. His salary this year was $80,400, according to the Illinois Comptroller’s Office.

About 2 a.m. Tuesday, Livingston County sheriff’s deputies were called by Brewer to his residence at 416 E. Jackson St. in Cullom, a village of about 500 people located 75 miles northeast of Peoria. Found dead inside were Norman Walker, 51, Shirley Brewer, 48, and Christian Brewer, 27. Shirley Brewer was Clifford Brewer’s wife while Christian was his son.

Police arrived to find Brewer’s hands wet, with clothes in the washing machine. Christian Brewer was found dead in one room, while Shirley Brewer and Walker were found in another.

In court Friday, Yedinak shared Brewer’s statements to police:

Brewer said he had gone out shopping for gifts for his wife on Christmas Eve. But when he got home, the couple got into a tiff.

At that, Shirley Brewer texted Walker, who came over. The two went upstairs, began drinking heavily and listened to loud music. Cliffoed Brewer stayed downstairs, took sleeping medication and listened to music on his phone.

According to Brewer, nobody entered or exited the residence while he was there.

Brewer made conflicting statements regarding gun ownership. He initially said he did not own a gun, then admitted to owning a gun, which he had purchased for his wife. Brewer had a valid FOID card at the time of the shootings.

Autopsy results indicate none of the gunshot wounds were self-inflicted, Yedinak told the court.

Public defender Scott Ripley said his client takes medication for depression and anxiety. After the hearing, Yedinak told the press that Brewer will receive needed medication while in custody.

There was no murder motive discussed in the hearing.

“At this point, it’s unclear,” Yedinak said after the hearing. “We’re still investigating that.”

Yedinak would not discuss the relationship between Shirley Brewer and Walker.

The next hearing is set for Jan. 23.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses for Shirley Brewer and Christian Brewer.

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