Mapleton murder leaves residents frightened; accused killers back in court

By Maggie Vespa
By Tom McIntyre

September 4, 2012 Updated Sep 5, 2012 at 10:30 AM CDT

MAPLETON, Ill.-- Residents in the small Mapleton community of Lake Camelot are shaken after learning the gruesome details of the murder of one of their own.

The three people accused in that shooting-- 25 year-old Amanda K. Payne, 17 year-old Devon Moore and 16 year-old Zachery Cotter, who is not pictured-- were back in court Tuesday to be appointed public defenders.

Authorities say ultimately, the three came to James Cohee's home on the night of August 26 to rob him.

Payne allegedly had sex with the former teacher and then shot him in the head.

Residents we spoke with say the incident leaves them feeling shocked and unsafe.

"You don't want your kids playing outside playing if you're not home. As your kids get older you feel that they can be home alone when you're at work, but now you just don't even feel safe with that. So, it's bothersome," said Michele Vest, a Lake Camelot resident of eight years.

Residents we spoke with off-camera describe Cohee as a quiet man, who kept to himself.

The alleged killers are still in custody. Payne is being held on $1.5 million, while Moore and Cotter are held on a million dollars bond each.

There is no picture of Zachery Cotter available from Peoria County officials since he is a juvenile, although he is being tried as an adult.

The family of Cotter's girlfriend was in court today, telling News 25 the 16 year-old is a "good kid". They added tha they had no idea how he knew Payne and Moore.

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