Woman given 40 years in prison for killing her mother in Funks Grove


Christine Roush
Christine Roush of Washington will serve 40 years in prison for killing her mother in Funks Grove last July.  (McLean County Sheriff’s Department photo.)

By Howard Packowitz

A McLean County Judge sentenced a Tazewell County woman to 40 years in prison Wednesday for killing her mother in Funks Grove last summer.

In court, Christine Roush tearfully apologized to her grandparents for having to go through the trauma of burying their daughter.

Roush pleaded guilty to stabbing and strangling Teresa Poehlman, 47, of East Peoria at the Sugar Grove Nature Center in Funks Grove July 2.

“I had no right to deny Teresa her life,” said Roush.

Co-defendent Matthew Isbell told police Roush killed Poehlman to stop her from revealing Roush was a prostitute, which meant she might lose custody of her own daughter.

A jury trial for Isbell is set for May.

The forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy testified Poehlman suffered multiple stab wounds to the neck and chest, and two puncture wounds to her heart.

Judge Robert Freitag said Roush is showing genuine remorse, but he said a substantial sentence was necessary because of the cold, calculated and brutal nature of the crime.

The senselessness of the crime is mind boggling, Freitag said.

Prosecutors recommended a 50 year sentence.

Howard Packowitz can be reached at [email protected]


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…