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home : news : local   April 29, 2016

8/21/2013 2:35:00 PM
Fugitive returned to La Salle County in connection with shooting

Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter

OTTAWA — A Tonica man charged in a non-fatal shooting has been extradited from Iowa to La Salle County to face felony charges.
Richard M. “Merch” Felton, 28, declined to challenge his extradition in a hearing held Tuesday in a Bettendorf, Iowa courtroom and was quickly fetched by La Salle County sheriff’s deputies. He is being held in La Salle County Jail in lieu of $3 million; he needs to post $300,000 in cash to be released.
Felton faces 6-30 years in prison if convicted of attempted murder and/or aggravated battery with a firearm, both Class X felonies. Prosecutors allege he shot 28-year-old Jeremy Wade in the head Sunday night and, in so doing, caused the Grand Ridge man to fall from the Sandy Ford Bridge near Leonore.
Wade survived both the gunshot and the ensuring fall of 40 feet. He remains hospitalized in St. Francis Medical Center, Peoria; authorities had said Wade was in critical condition but the hospital is not authorized to provide updated condition reports.
Additional details of the attack are pending.
To date, authorities have said Wade crawled from the Vermilion River to a farmhouse where police were summoned at 11:02 p.m. Sunday. Upon arrival, Wade told authorities he met a man, later identified as Felton, who shot him in the face. Wade was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Streator and then transferred to Peoria.
The search for Felton took a full day and a half.
A La Salle County tactical team searched Felton’s home in Tonica on Monday night, but he was found some time that night or early Tuesday by police including the FBI, Quad Cities Fugitive Task Force and Bettendorf police.

Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or

Related Stories:
• UPDATE: Tonica man apprehended in shooting

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