Charges in murder of pregnant woman

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SHELBY COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The man accused of killing his girlfriend appeared in court Wednesday. Deven Barger is charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of 22-year old Samantha Cushing and another count of intentional homicide of an unborn child. He faces up to 100 years if convicted on both counts.

Officials say Barger shot Cushing in the face with a shotgun Monday. He fled the area and was spotted in Effingham County by police. Barger then led authorities on a car chase back to Taylorville where he was taken into custody.

Barger and Cushing’s 3-year old daughter was in the car with Barger when he was apprehended. Cushing was 6-months pregnant when she was murdered. In court Wednesday, the Shelby County state’s attorney said the 3-year old told police she remembered seeing blood around her mom. She is now with Barger’s mother.

Barger had been on parole since December 2018 for charges dating back to March 2017. They include firearm possession, aggravated battery against police and fleeing. Friends of Cushing say they urged her to stay away from him because of his “violent criminal history.”

He’s being held on $5 million bond by the Illinois Department of Corrections rather than in Shelby County.

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