A former deputy police chief in the city of Alton has been fired as police chief of Carbondale. Jody O’Guinn took the job in southern Illinois in 2009, but has most recently come under fire for the department’s handling of the death of a Southern Illinois University student. The parents of the student recently filed a lawsuit against the chief.
Carbondale City Manager Kevin Baity says the firing has nothing to do with the lawsuit, saying the decision was a personnel matter and details will remain confidential. The body of 19 year old Pravin Varughese was found in a wooded area near the campus of SIU in February and his family and friends have been critical of the police handling of the case. The family asked for an autopsy and it found Varughese died from blunt force trauma to his head. Initially police said he died from the cold weather. O'Guinn has come under fire before. His gun was stolen in 2011 and later used in a fatal shooting. A year later a woman was found dead in a police dispatcher's apartment. No charges have been filed in that case and the father of the victim claims he’s been unable to get answers from the police department.
Serving the areas of Alton, Godfrey, East Alton, Wood River, Roxana, Edwardsville, Jerseyville, Brighton, Bethalto, Grafton, Granite City, Hartford, Highland, Troy, Fairview Heights, Belleville and the surrounding cities.