Police make three arrests in separate cases involving fatalities between 2005 and 2009
From press releases
The Rockford Police Department has made three arrests in cases involving fatalities dating from 2005 to 2009. The alleged perpetrators are awaiting their day in court.
April 21, 2005, at about 7:30 p.m., patrol officers responded to the parking lot of the Pizza Hut, 2506 Auburn St., in reference to a shooting incident. The victim, Joshua Irwin, 21, of Rockford, was at the scene suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Irwin was transported to a local hospital, where he later died as a result of his injuries.
Rockford Police detectives later identified the suspect in Irwin’s murder as Charles Knight. A warrant was issued for Knight on charges of armed robbery and unlawful use of weapons by a felon. Nov. 3, 2008, Knight was located and arrested in Ft. Wayne, Ind., by members of an FBI fugitive task force. Knight, 46, was later extradited back to Lake County, Ill., for unrelated charges.
After further review of the ongoing investigation, the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office authorized the charge of first-degree murder against Knight. His bond was set at $1 million.
May 23, 2006, patrol officers responded to the residence at 2319 W. Jefferson St. in reference to a shooting investigation. When they arrived, officers located the body of the 35-year-old victim, Tyrone Dowthard, in the front yard of the residence.
Since that time, detectives from the Rockford Police Department have been conducting a lengthy and ongoing investigation into Dowthard’s murder. The results of the investigation were reviewed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office. As a result, charges were authorized against the suspect, Franklin D. Lofton, 25, Rockford. Lofton was already being held in the Winnebago County Jail on unrelated charges.
Sunday, July 12, 2009, at about 11:35 a.m., patrol officers responded to a room at the Howard Johnson motel, 3919 11th St., in reference to a medical assist. When they arrived, they located the 28-year-old victim, Johanna J. Kern, who was suffering from an apparent drug overdose. Attempts were made to resuscitate Kern, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives conducted a follow-up investigation into Kern’s death, and the results were reviewed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office. As a result, charges were authorized against Kern’s fiancé, Raymond L. Ciaccio, for his role in her death. Friday, Jan. 8, Ciaccio was arrested on the warrant and lodged in the Winnebago County Jail.
The charges against all three suspects are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt. The people charged are considered innocent unless proven guilty in court.
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