An Alton man has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of a retired school custodian.
Eugene L. Johnson, 26, was charged Wednesday in Madison County in the Aug. 11 death of 79-year-old Bobby Lee Depper Sr., according to the Telegraph.
Johnson allegedly struck Depper “several times in the face and body with his fist” on Aug. 3, charges say, and injuries from the beating caused Depper’s death eight days later.
Johnson was a guest in Depper’s home, the Telegraph reported.
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Depper was well-known in the Alton school district, where he worked from 1969 to 2002, according to the Telegraph.
“He was regarded as a kind and gentle man,” Assistant School Superintendent Kristie Baumgartner told the Telegraph.
Baumgartner told the Telegraph that school staff was shocked by Depper’s death and called it a “tragic situation.”
Johnson’s bond was set at $500,000.