Illinois man who allegedly fatally shot business partner recorded killing on cell phone: sheriff’s sergeant

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Source: Unsplash; Macon County Sheriff's Office

Sep. 18 2021, Published 11:40 a.m. ET

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A man who allegedly slayed his business partner in Illinois after a series of disputes last summer recorded the incident on his cell phone, authorities said.

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News of the footage that could potentially change the outcome of the trial was confirmed at a Sept. 15 inquest by Sgt. Roger Pope of the Macon County Sheriff’s Department.

On the evening of July 11, Phillip J. Gehrken, 52, was at one of his properties in Argenta when he allegedly shot 51-year-old Kevin Cooper multiple times and killed him.

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“Mr. Gehrken had used his cell phone, for which we assume he was expecting a confrontation of some sort, and so he video-recorded the whole incident and the actual shooting is on video,” Sgt. Pope explained to a juror in court, according to the Herald-Review.

According to the newspaper, before the existence of the video was presented Wednesday, Gehrken appeared to have been planning to plead the shooting was a case of self-defense, alleging Cooper attempted to grab at him.

Sgt. Pope did not indicate if the video would support or contradict Gehrken’s account of the fatal shooting.

Gehrken has denied three alternate counts of first-degree murder and is being held in the Macon County Jail.

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