Charges: Witnesses harassed from jail by Swansea murder suspect

News-DemocratFebruary 7, 2014 

A murder and armed robbery suspect faces more charges after trying to harass witnesses, police said.

Another St. Clair County Jail inmate tipped officers that Ronnie J. Gully Jr., 21, of Swansea, contacted witnesses in writing and electronically using three false identities, Sheriff Rick Watson said. He said Gully's harassing messages were well disguised.

Gully was charged Thursday by St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly with harassment of a witness, with additional bail set at $100,000. The witnesses were part of an ongoing investigation, he said.

Gully already faces charges for a 20-minute armed robbery spree in July that covered three blocks in East St. Louis. It ended with him walking up to 65-year-old George Tolliver and shooting Tolliver dead as he sat in his SUV. Those crimes already had his bail set at $1 million.

"People often forget that our jail is much like a small city and criminals don't stop committing crimes just because they are behind bars," Watson said.

Watson said the charges were possible because of the work by officers Rodney Wilson and Steven Strubberg as well as investigators.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

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