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Deacon, Ex-Coach Shot by Father of Teen Who Accused Him of Abuse

October 16, 1993

MOUND CITY, Ill. (AP) _ A Baptist deacon and former high school basketball coach accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl was shot five times by the girl’s father as he left court, police said.

Wallace Bobo was shot Friday as he walked down the courthouse stairs after a pretrial hearing where one of two charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against him were dismissed, Pulaski County State’s Attorney Patrick Duffy said.

The girl’s father was charged with attempted murder and armed violence, Police Chief Kirby Woods said.

The father, whose identity was withheld to protect his daughter, was held on $500,000 bail. He is to be arraigned Monday.

Bobo, 55, was in serious but stable condition early today at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Despite the charges, Bobo was practically an idol to many youngsters in this southern Illinois town of 1,100, residents said.

″He’s been a good friend and like a father to a lot of kids,″ said Dirk Posey, who’s known Bobo for more than 20 years. ″He never gave you bad advice. A lot of us played ball with him and went to church with him.″

Duffy said Bobo is a former teacher at Meridian High School in Mound City, about 45 miles south of Carbondale. Meridian Principal Larry Spain said Bobo had been with the school system about 20 years before retiring in 1990 and was the boys’ varsity basketball coach for about five years.

Neighbors said the sexual abuse allegations had forced Bobo’s retirement.

Jeffrey Walters, Bobo’s neighbor and friend of the girl’s father, said the father was having trouble dealing with the charges and became upset after Bobo’s first trial ended in a mistrial last spring.

″He’s moody. In 20 years I have never known him to hold a steady job,″ Walters said of the father. ″He never hurt anyone in his life. He was just eaten up with his daughter’s problem.″

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