The $1 million bond originally set for a Lacon man charged with allegedly murdering his ex-girlfriend April 11 at Routes 29 and 17 in Sparland has been revoked.


The $1 million bond originally set for a Lacon man charged with allegedly murdering his ex-girlfriend April 11 at Routes 29 and 17 in Sparland has been revoked.

Marshall County State’s Attorney Paul Bauer asked that Circuit Judge Kevin Galley revoke the bond for Tony R. Smith, 39, who reportedly shot Judith E. Berchtold, 49, of Sparland, a former
Chillicothe resident, five times with a 12-gauge shotgun after ramming her vehicle.

Smith reportedly has no source of income or assets and will remain incarcerated at Marshall County Jail pending a preliminary hearing May 11.

Bauer said that two people who once worked with Smith, as well as one of Berchtold’s daughters, presented evidence that Smith had previously threatened to “kill Judith Berchtold and a guy she was talking to at a bar.”

He also allegedly threatened to kill Berchtold at her place of work.

Berchtold worked at Mediacom in Chillicothe and also tended bar at the Lacon bowling alley.

Smith reportedly was kicked out of Lacon Bowling Lanes and, at the time, threatened to kill workers at the business, said Bauer.

According to another co-worker, Smith at one time talked about drunken driving, boasting that he drove with a gun in his lap and would kill any officer who attempted to arrest him, since he would not be taken alive.

“He also told him that he always wanted to shoot an alligator and a human being,” said Bauer.
Galley stated that Smith’s words and actions indicated he had a light-hearted approach to guns and other weapons and would have no second thoughts about using them to settle a conflict.

After part-time Lacon police officer Dennis Minton arrived at the scene of the shooting, Smith ignored commands to put down his weapon. He was then shot once by Minton in the lower chest-upper abdominal area.

He remained under close guard at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center for 10 days before being transported to jail.

While in the hospital, he was charged with first-degree murder.

Bauer has indicated he may seek the death penalty in the case.