The shooting death of Alan Ware, 40, of rural Atlanta was a suicide, a Logan County Coroner’s jury ruled Wednesday.
Six members of the jury listened attentively to testimony and evidence about the circumstances surrounding the April 18 death of Ware presented by Logan County Coroner Chuck Fricke and Illinois State Trooper Thomas Fischer
Ware was discovered dead in his white, deteriorated trailer at 2145 2137th Ave. by his on-and-off girlfriend, Lara E. Keller, said Fricke.
Keller immediately called Ware’s brother to tell him what happened, reports said.
Before police and family arrived at Ware’s trailer, Keller, concerned with her lover’s gruesome appearance, attempted to clean up Ware’s body with rubbing alcohol and a rag, Fischer testified.
Authorities found the alcohol bottle in Ware’s bathroom.
Atlanta police were the first to arrive at Ware’s home, accompanied later by Logan County Sheriff deputies and Illinois State Troopers.
Police found Ware sitting on a navy blue couch with a .38-caliber pistol in the palm of his hand, Fischer said.
Fricke pronounced Ware dead at 3:26 p.m.
An autopsy confirmed Ware died from a single gunshot wound to his head, Fischer said.
Forensics in Indianapolis, where the autopsy was conducted, found gun powder on Ware’s hand and gun powder residue on the right side of his face, Fischer testified.
Authorities could not confirm the pistol belonged to Ware.
“During the investigation, the gun proved to be untraceable due to obliterated serial numbers and there is no record of the gun being stolen,” said Logan County State’s Attorney Tim Huyett.
Fischer also told the jury that while there was gun powder on Ware’s hand, no fingerprints were found on the gun.
Huyett said the gunshot residue on Ware’s hand suggested no motive of foul play.
Further, no evidence was found at the scene to suggest a cover-up of the death or evidence of any type of struggle, Huyett said.
Six pages of notes were found in the trailer by Ware’s father, Fischer said.
“The notes displayed Ware’s attempt for soul searching and listed positives and negatives of living or dying,” said Fischer.
Police learned Ware was born in Atlanta, was unemployed, had no family, lived alone in the trailer, had ongoing domestic disputes with his girlfriend and contemplated committing suicide once before.
Witnesses told authorities that Ware had been drinking the night before at the Atlanta bar, C-Aire, Fricke said.
Forensic results showed Ware’s blood-alcohol level was .119 and traces of marijuana and traces of Prozac and Valium.
None of the drugs were in excess, Fricke said.
“But a mixture of all four leads to an increased state of depression,” said Fricke.
Source: Courier, The (Lincoln, IL) – Thursday, June 7, 2001