Suspects in kidnapping, vehicular hijacking to make first court appearance Tuesday

Yohn Blackledge

Bradley Yohn, left, and Karen Blackledge

QUINCY — A Springfield man and a Quincy women will make their first appearance in Adams County Circuit court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to face home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated criminal sexual assault and residential burglary charges.

Bradley S. Yohn, 34, of Springfield, Ill., and Karen D. Blackledge, 33, of Quincy, were transported from the Sangamon County Jail to the Adams County Jail on Monday. Bond for Yohn is $10 million. Bond for Blackledge is $5 million.

Yohn also has been charged with an additional vehicular hijacking that occurred in Adams County two weeks ago.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Department confirmed last Thursday that officers were working with Illinois State Police and Springfield Police on a homicide investigation. The body of Derek J. Banker Barnett, 30, of Virden was found at 3:34 p.m. Wednesday. A preliminary autopsy report by Sangamon County coroner Jim Allmon suggests Barnett died from a gunshot wound. 

Barnett was found in a car near where Yohn and Blackledge were arrested. Adams County sheriff Rich Wagner said last week no connection had been made between the homicide and the arrests of Yohn and Blackledge, other than the proximity of the vehicle where Barnett was found to the Springfield residence where the arrest was made.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office responded Nov. 9 to a report of a burglary at a residence off North Bottom Road in rural Adams County. It was learned that before the burglary, one of the homeowners was the victim of a vehicular hijacking on North Bottom Road and forced back to their residence, which was then robbed. It also was determined the vehicle the suspects used during the vehicular hijacking previously was reported stolen from a business in Quincy earlier in the day. 

The sheriff’s office and the United States Marshal’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Unit began looking for Yohn and Blackledge, who were taken into custody at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Springfield, Ill. 

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