Fulton County man held on $1 million bond after allegedly strangling woman

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FULTON COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — A Cuba man is still being held on a $1 million bond after a judge ruled there is probable cause a felonly occurred.

Gordon Griffith, 58, is being accused in the death of Tammy Shoen, 53, of Cuba, on Oct. 11. At the time, preliminary autopsy results indicated a strangulation occurred. Griffith and his attorney plead not-guilty to the first-degree murder charge.

On Tuesday, Fulton County Sherrif sergent Jonathon Webb was called to the stand. Webb was the on-call detective on the day in question.

Webb said Deputy Preston Harris was first to arrive at the scene and asked Griffith and his wife, Rita Griffith, what happened. Harris was then taken to a trailer where the body of Tammy Shoen lied on the floor.

Griffith told Harris he used a rope to choke Shoen and asked his wife Rita to get the weapon from the backroom of the trailer. Deputy Harris then called for back-up and EMTs who attempted to resuscitate Shoen. Those attempts were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead, Webb said.

Griffith later told Deputy Harris Rita and Shoen had been in a fight earlier that day. Griffith alleges Shoen sexually touched his wife and he overheard it while in the bathroom. He also alleges the sexual touching happened previously.

Upon exiting the bathroom, he pulled Shoen off his wife and struck her in the head with his fist. When that failed to subdue her, he grabbed a rope from the table and fastened it around her neck, strangling her.

Griffith said at first he thought Shoen had merely passed out.

Deputy Harris met with witnesses David Hite and Eric Carmen at the scene. Hite told the deputy Griffith said, “I finally did it” after the alleged strangulation.

All were interviewed at the station and no signs of struggle were seen on Griffith. Webb said the only significant ligature marks were on Shoen’s neck.

Griffith is expected to return to court Dec. 15 at 1:30 p.m. for a pre-trial conference. He is currently being held on a $1 million bond at the Fulton County Jail.

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