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Mineral incident investigated

MINERAL— Brandon R. Anthony, 20, of Mineral has died from injuries received in a Saturday incident in Mineral.

On Wednesday, Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson confirmed he had received a telephone call Tuesday morning that an autopsy would be performed that afternoon on Anthony’s body. The Mineral man had been pronounced brain dead Sunday at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, but he was being kept on life support until an organ donor process could be completed. That organ donor process was expected to take a day or so.

Thompson said he did have officers attending Tuesday’s autopsy. Some assessment results were immediate, while other test results, such as toxicology reports, are pending. The time of Anthony’s death and cause of death would need to come from Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll, the sheriff said.

However, the autopsy results did not change the direction of the department’s ongoing investigation into the incident and Anthony’s death, Thompson said.

Ingersoll did not return a phone call from the Bureau County Republican by press time.

As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, the event surrounding Anthony’s injuries occurred at about 11:45 a.m. Saturday on Central Street in Mineral, about 45 feet from the corner of Third Street. According to the initial press release from the Bureau County Sheriff’s Department, Anthony had reportedly fallen, exited or been ejected from a moving vehicle.

The investigation into the incident resulted in the arrest of two brothers, Michael L. Donner, 62, and Roger D. Donner, 57, both of Aledo. The two men were charged by the sheriff’s department with the Class 4 felony of false personation of a peace office and with the possession of cannabis, more than 30 grams.

The Donner brothers appeared in Bureau County Court on Monday afternoon for a probable cause/bond hearing.

In presenting the merits of the case, Bureau County State’s Attorney Patrick Herrmann said a witness to the incident said he saw a vehicle go by at a slow rate and saw what he thought was a bag of trash come out of the vehicle. The witness then realized the apparent bag was a person. He went over to the victim and saw the man was unresponsive.

Herrmann said the two people in the vehicle, the Donner brothers, came back to the scene. Michael Donner allegedly showed an apparent “badge” to the people who had gathered by the victim, saying he (Michael Donner) was one of the “good guys.” The brothers accompanied the investigating officer back to the jail.

During the investigation into the incident, police recovered a text message about cannabis dealings. During the time Anthony was in the vehicle, Michael Donner had allegedly shown Anthony a “police badge.” Michael Donner said he then heard the car door open and saw Anthony half in and half out of the car, and then out completely.

After hearing the merits of the case, Circuit Judge Marc Bernabei found probable cause to present the case to a Bureau County grand jury when it convenes on Oct. 15. The brothers’ next court date, an arraignment, is set for 11 a.m. Oct. 17.

The judge appointed Bureau County Public Defender Michael Henneberry to represent Roger Donner and Bureau County Assistant Public Defender Eric May to represent Michael Donner.

Bond was set at $25,000 for Michael Donner and at $20,000 for Roger Donner. Both men remained in custody Monday afternoon, pending the posting of 10 percent of their bonds. They have since posted bail.

If convicted of the Class 4 felony of false personation of a peace officer, each Donner brother could be placed on probation or conditional discharge, which could include a county jail sentence. Or, each man could face up to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and a $25,000 fine.

On Wednesday, Herrmann said he is waiting for the results of the autopsy on Anthony and is continuing his investigation. At this time, the only charges against the Donner brothers is the Class 4 felony of false personation of a peace officer, Herrmann said.

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