Lincoln County Deputies responded to the 1800 block of South Hwy W Friday evening for a physical domestic. When deputies arrived on scene the suspect, John Stillwell, had already fled on foot in to the woods.
The victim, Stillwell’s wife, reported Stillwell had punched her in the face and choked her with his bare hand. Stillwell had apparently been playing cards with guests earlier in the evening and became angry at some point during the card game causing all the guests to leave. He then apparently took his anger out on his wife. There were 3 children in the residence between the ages of 7 -13 years old when the incident took place; however, none of them were harmed.
Deputies searched for Stillwell however were unable to locate him. Due to the nature of the crime, deputies asked the victim and her three children if they would be willing to stay elsewhere for the evening for their safety until they could locate Stillwell. Fortunately they agreed.
At approximately 1:00am the following morning, deputies responded back to the residence in attempt to locate Stillwell. When they arrived, the front door of the residence was standing open and the inside had been doused with an accelerant (believed to be gasoline). The residence was smoldering but apparently never became fully engulfed. The fire department responded to control the fire.
While on scene deputies received information that Lincoln County Ambulance personnel had observed a male subject matching the description of Stillwell walking east on Hwy B towards Elsberry. Deputies responded to the area and located Stillwell. They approached Stillwell cautiously advising him to prone out on the ground. He complied; however, when a deputy went to place handcuffs on him, he immediately reached his hand inside his coveralls. The deputy tried to gain control of Stillwell; however, he began resisting and attempting to gain access to the inside of his coveralls. By that time two deputies were attempting to control Stillwell and place him in handcuffs. Finally after several minutes deputies were able to take Stillwell in custody. During a search incident to arrest, deputies located a 12 inch knife on Stillwell’s person in the exact area he was reaching for during the struggle. They also located 2 other knives on Stilwell.
Stillwell has been charged with Domestic Assault 2nd Degree and Assault 1st Degree on Law Enforcement. He is being held in the Lincoln County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 cash bond. The Arson is still under investigation.
John Vernon Stillwell