Danville man faces trial in fatal beating

DANVILLE — A 52-year-old Danville man will stand trial for murder for the June 2012 beating death of his girlfriend.

Vermilion County Circuit Judge Michael Clary on Thursday found probable cause to try Kenneth R. Dye on three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the death of 50-year-old Joan Duckworth of Danville.

Dye also faces one count of aggravated domestic battery and one count of aggravated battery-great bodily harm.

He pleaded innocent to the charges. His pretrial hearing was set for Aug. 5.

At Dye's preliminary hearing in Vermilion County Circuit Court, Danville police Detective Phil Wilson testified that Dye and Ms. Duckworth had been in what he termed "an abusive relationship."

An autopsy showed that Ms. Duckworth died from internal bleeding and had multiple contusions and broken bones.

Wilson also testified that police collected evidence at the crime scene, Ms. Duckworth's residence in the 500 block of Porter Street. He said the suspect was identified through DNA evidence as well as witness statements.

A relative found Ms. Duckworth's body at her home on the evening of June 28, 2012. The relative hadn't heard from Ms. Duckworth in a few days, grew concerned, went to her house to check on her and found her body.

Dye was arrested by Peoria police on May 31 after receiving a tip that he was at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, where he had gone with another person to visit a patient. He was then handed over to Danville police.

Dye is being held in the Vermilion County Jail on a $2 million bond, meaning he would have to post $200,000, or 10 percent, in order to be released.

If he's convicted of the murder charges, Dye could be sentenced to 20 to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, or an extended 60- to 100-year term if he is eligible.

If convicted of aggravated domestic battery, Dye could be sentenced to three to seven years in prison, or an extended seven- to 14-year term if he is eligible. If he's convicted of aggravated battery, he could be sentenced to two to five years in prison or an extended five- to 10-year term if eligible.

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