Adams County coroner releases name of homicide victim - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Adams County coroner releases name of homicide victim

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Derek McKenzie Derek McKenzie
Billy Graham (submitted photo) Billy Graham (submitted photo)
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

The Adams County Coroner’s Office says Billy J. Graham, 48, was killed at 601 North 5th Street, in Quincy. Quincy police were called to an apartment above Izzey's Bar and Grill just before 6 p.m. Monday, where they found Graham dead. The coroner says Graham had multiple blunt force trauma injuries.

Police say they arrested Derek McKenzie, 29, of Quincy. McKenzie is charged with first-degree murder.

QPD says during the course of the investigation, they found out McKenzie and Graham knew each other. Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard says the argument happened early Monday morning, and Graham had been dead for a while when police got there.

Neighbors and friends say Graham was the cook at Izzey's Bar and Grill. They say he was beaten to death at his apartment above the bar. A bartender told police she found his body when the man didn't show up for his shift Monday.

As police investigate, it's just the latest in a string of violent crime, which continues to rise on Quincy's north side.

"In this neighborhood - period - we don't feel safe," neighbor Buffy Bence said. 

 Just two weeks ago, Carlous Wires, 48, was shot and killed at 4th and College streets, one block west from where Graham was killed.

"They need to focus on the north side," resident Nicole Hammock said. "That's where it's all happening at, and children don't feel safe."

Both Hammock and Bence have kids. 

"There's kids dying and my fear is one of these days, I'm gonna get a call that my son has been harmed or hurt," Bence said. "I don't want that."

"I don't let my kids play outside, and the police always say they are going to patrol the area more and they only do it when it happens," Hammock said.

Both women live blocks from where 12-year-old Ray Humphrey Jr. was murdered earlier this year.  

"A lot of people in this side of town is not feeling like it is very safe anymore," Hammock said. 

Bence has spent four years on the north side, and she says its time to focus on safety. 

"The community needs to come together and work together to make a safer home for our children," Bence said. 

Police said they didn't think the public was in danger following Graham's killing.

*Editor's note: Police said in a press release Monday night the victim was in his mid-70s. Early Tuesday morning, police corrected his age to 48.

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