St. Clair County prosecutors filed murder charges Wednesday against a suspect in the killing of Nathan Funkhouser in Belleville.
Jeremy Jackson, 33, of Belleville faces one count of first-degree murder. The charges accuse him of beating Funkhouser on the head with a baseball bat and stabbing him in the chest with a knife.
His bail was set at $800,000.
Authorities said Jackson and Funkhouser were acquaintances. The charges state that Funkhouser was killed on Feb. 27 — more than a week before his body was discovered Sunday inside his apartment on North 40th Street in the city.
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“It was obvious (Funkhouser) had been there for a period of time,” said Belleville Police Lt. Matt Eiskant, who led the Major Case Squad investigation into Funkhouser’s death. He said the killing occurred inside the apartment.
Police were let into Funkhouser’s apartment for a well-being check after he hadn’t been seen for an extended period.
After an autopsy was conducted Monday, it was determined that the 34-year-old was murdered.
That’s when Belleville Police activated the Major Case Squad.
“We met with the victim’s family, his friends, acquaintances,” Eiskant said. “A suspect was identified fairly early in the investigation.”
Eiskant said detectives found Jackson walking in the 300 block of North 70th Street in East St. Louis on Tuesday.
He was taken into custody, and remained at the St. Clair County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon.
Funkhouser was scheduled to appear in St. Clair County Court on March 15 for a hearing connected to felony drug-possession charges.
He was arrested in August in a heroin sting that netted 35 suspects. He was out on bail from the St. Clair County Jail at the time he was killed.
Jackson’s criminal history includes drug-related charges from 2014, 2011 and 2002.
Eiskant would not say whether the killing was drug-related.
“We don’t want to prejudice any witnesses we still have to talk to,” he said, adding that even though Jackson “is the sole offender in this case,” the investigation was ongoing.