Woman arrested for obstructing justice in murder investigation

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - The Decatur Police Department says a woman has been arrested for obstructing justice in the investigation into the shooting death of Demesheo Lovelace.

Decatur police say three men, identified as Joseph Fox, 26, Darelle Fox, 31, and Shawn Eubanks, 25, were arrested in connection with Lovelace's death.  During the investigation into the death, as well as from physical evidence and eyewitnesses, Decatur police say they learned that the three were traveling in a blue minivan while shooting at Lovelace, and that the van was last in the care of Darelle's girlfriend, identified as Stephanie Babb, 30.

Detectives say the minivan was found on the same day as the shooting, after having been set on fire in the 6800 block of West Cantrell Street.  Authorities interviewed Babb later that evening, and police say she claimed to have no knowledge of where the minivan was, what condition it was in, or who had used it.  However, police say Babb was in possession of the only set of keys available.  Police also say Babb reported having no contact with Darelle between shortly before Lovelace's death and about 10:00 p.m.

During the interview with police, detectives say Babb referenced a hit-and-run incident that was reported on June 27.  According to the initial report, police say Babb said her vehicle was struck by another in the 900 block of North Pine, and that she had no information on who the driver was.  However, during the interview with police on the night of Lovelace's death, detectives say Babb told officers that her vehicle had been hit by Lovelace, who was allegedly attempting to run Darelle over.

Decatur police say they obtained phone records for cell phones belonging to Babb and Darelle Fox, and that those records show that both phones were in communication with each other 10 times between 8 p.m. and 9:06 p.m.  Additionally, Decatur police say Darelle's phone was determined to be in the area of the 6800 block of West Cantrell Street, the area where the van was located.  Police say Babb's phone was determined to be in the area of Rock Springs Road and Wykles Road at about 9:06 p.m., and that detectives believe Babb was allegedly on her way to pick up Darelle.

Detectives say Babb told police she left Decatur alone and drove to Lincoln on the night of Lovelace's death.  However, police say cell phone records show Babb's phone was in the area of Latham at about 9:45 p.m., and Darelle's phone was in the area of Mt. Pulaski at about 9:53 p.m., leading detectives to believe that the two were allegedly traveling together.

A search warrant was obtained for Babb's phone, and Decatur police say they found records of an internet search for information on Lovelace a day after the alleged hit-and-run.

Decatur police say Babb was arrested on July 10.  She faces preliminary charges of obstructing justice and filing a false police report, and is due back in court on August 11.

The investigation into Lovelace's death is ongoing.

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