Three arrested on murder charges

Left to right: Whitney D. Robins, 28; Blake S. Schindler, 17; and Timothy D. Wonish, 30.

Two Union area men have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of a former probation officer at his home south of Washington.

Timothy D. Wonish, 30, and Blake S. Schindler, 17, were indicted Tuesday, Jan. 24, by the Franklin County grand jury in the murder of Kenneth Allen Jr., 70.

Allen’s body was found at his Elmwood Estates Drive residence after 8 a.m. Nov. 4.

Wonish and Schindler, along with Whitney D. Robins, 28, also of Union, have been in custody at the Franklin County Jail since they were arrested Nov. 4. Initially they were charged with first-degree burglary and receiving stolen property, according to court records. They each are being held on a $200,000 cash-only bond.

Franklin County Prosecutor Bob Parks said Robins waived a preliminary hearing and additional charges are pending against her.

The suspects were all residing at a home in the 700 block of Forest View Drive south of Union.

Investigators with the St. Louis Area Major Case Squad said there were no signs of injury to Allen, who was found on the floor in his home at 8:30 a.m. by an acquaintance. The man had gone to Allen’s home to do yard work and called 911 after finding his body.

Authorities found evidence that someone had been in the home, possibly searching for something.

The suspects were located at a residence shortly before midnight on Nov. 4 in South St. Louis County and were in possession of items that belonged to Allen, according to Major Case Squad Deputy Cmdr. Gary Higginbotham.

The FBI was called to assist in processing the crime scene due to conflicts with other agencies, he said.

Allen was a co-owner of Meramec Recovery Center Inc. He was a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in August that alleges members of the Franklin County Drug Court conspired to convince a judge and the Office of State Courts Administrator (OSCA) to terminate Meramec Recovery Center’s contract as treatment provider for the drug court.

The suit was dismissed in December 2016 at the request of the plaintiffs. Jan Allen and Meramec Recovery Center Inc. also were listed as plaintiffs in the case.