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Alleged 'Drifter' Killer Hit With $5M Bond

The homeless man charged with murdering the employee of a funeral vault manufacturing company during a botched break-in was sent back to jail on a $5 million bond.

The homeless man apprehended Sunday and charged with the murder of a 69-year-old funeral vault company employee was sent back to jail with a $5 million bond Monday afternoon.

Michael Eberle, a 42-year-old "drifter" was captured while hiding in the weeds near on the Interstate 55 frontage road outside , police said.

Will County sheriff's deputies tracked Eberle down soon after he viciously beat to death 69-year-old Patrick Shaughnessy, a long-time Knauer employee, police said.

Eberle allegedly killed Knauer to cap off a Sunday morning crime spree that included attempting to break into a house in Shorewood's Saddlebrook Estates subdivision and stealing a pickup truck from a farm.

Eberle rammed the pickup in reverse through the closed garage door and drove away after the farm owner came upon him in the garage, said Assistant State's Attorney Joel Brown.

After Eberle reached Knauer Industries, Shaughnessy apparently interrupted him as he was burglarizing the company's office.

Shaughnessy's bludgeoned body was found in the office of Knauer Industries. He was still alive but died before an ambulance could reach the scene.

Brown said deputies located a bloody fire extinguisher and bloody crowbar near Shaughnessy.

Eberle appeared at his Monday bond hearing via a closed circuit video broadcast from the Will County jail. When asked for his address by Judge Marzell Richardson, he said, "I live here now," apparently referring to the jail.

Eberle told the judge he does not work, has no income, and when asked if he owns anything, said, "Not anymore."

Brown ran down a laundry list of prior offenses for Eberle, including burglary, obstructing justice, theft, battery, unlawful restraint and possession of cannabis.

Sunday morning's episodes in and around Shorewood bought Eberle charges of first-degree murder, residential burglary, burglary, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. If convicted, he faces at least 20 to 60 years in prison.

An employee of Knauer Industries said no one at the company wished to discuss Shaughnessy's death on Monday.

Be sure to read Patch Tuesday morning for more details on the killing and what may have prompted Eberle to allegedly snap.

Denise Williams March 27, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Butch, I am a huge supporter of the 2nd Amendment as well as conceal carry being passed I this state. But you know what I'man even bigger supporter of? Decency, compassion and sensitivity. A man died. Brutally, senselessly and absolutely needlessly. A MAN DIED. How about a word of condolence for the family,friends, loved ones and coworkers who are in shock and grieving? Show some respect, you insensitive lout. Joe, how about shutting this guy down out of respect for the family of the victim?
Tammy S March 27, 2012 at 01:23 AM
DenIse, Thank you.
Tina F March 27, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Thank u Denise it's hard enough dealing with this family tragedy...
Paulette Dakuras March 27, 2012 at 02:44 AM
The victim was my Uncle. I Can not put into words the shock my mom & her twin sister are in at the current moment... The 3 of them were very close....Thank you for having compassion...
CCW in Illinois March 28, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I guess we will just outlaw crowbars and fire extinguishers next.

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