After today’s court hearing, details surrounding the death of Illinois resident Aaron P. Fehl are a lot more clear.
Fehl was killed in Petersburg, Illinois, on March 19. His body was found with several gunshot wounds in a rural field.
Charles M. Brackhan was arrested in connection with Fehl’s death, but police were vague on how the 20-year-old Fehl was killed. Police would only say his body was found dead at the scene. They said the gunshot wounds were not self-inflicted, but they would not rule the shooting a homicide either. As one might expect, the public was a bit confused.
Today, Illinois law enforcement cleared up the confusion.
An armed Fehl broke into Brackhan’s home on March 19. Brackhan was outside at the time, but he rushed inside when he heard someone in his house. Fehl and Brackhan were both armed, and gunfire ensued. Brackhan fatally shot Fehl. After shooting Fehl, Brackhan took the body to a nearby field rather than leaving it in his house.
Why was Fehl breaking into Brackhan’s home? And why did Brackhan drive Fehl’s body miles away rather than calling police to his house? The answer to both questions is unexpected: marijuana plants.
Fehl knew that Brackhan had a marijuana grow operation in his house. He broke into his the house in hopes of stealing some of the plants. When Brackhan fatally shot Fehl, he knew police would find the grow operation in his house, so he drove the body away in hopes of changing the scene of the crime.
Brackhan’s whole plan has backfired on him. Police found out about everything during their investigation. Athough police are calling the shooting an act of self-defense, Brackhan is now being charged with concealment of a murder and production of marijuana.
Had Brackhan been an average citizen living in a house that wasn’t growing illegal drugs, he likely would have gotten out of this mess free of charge. But thanks to his grow-op and cover-up, he could face up to eight years in prison. The concealment charge carries a five-year sentence, and the production of marijuana charge can tack on another three years to his time.
Life’s just never as simple when you’re the neighborhood “guy.”