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Were there warning signs ahead of Millstadt attempted murder?

MILLSTADT, Ill. – Fox 2/News 11 uncovered possible warning signs in the criminal history of a man now accused of trying to kill someone with a shovel in Millstadt, Illinois.

People thought Wesley Reinhardt, 45, was going to kill someone outside his father’s tavern Thursday night. He almost did, according to St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly.

It’s the latest in a long line of alleged offenses in both Missouri and Illinois, from DUI to assaulting a law enforcement officer, dating to Reinhardt’s teens.

Reinhardt was jailed on one count of attempted murder and multiple counts of battery.
It’s the second case of armed violence against him this year.

“What the defendant had to say, the way the defendant acted, the weapon he used, all those things amount to an appropriate charge here being attempted murder…that weapon the defendant used in this case allegedly is a shovel,” Kelly said.

Authorities confirmed the following: there’s been an ongoing rift between Reinhardt and his father, who operates Reinhardt’s tavern; on Thursday night, Wesley Reinhardt was allegedly looking to confront his father; using a shovel, he attacked a worker who intervened; Wesley Reinhardt’s father then stepped in preventing further injury to the victim.

“I think everybody who was there is just grateful this wasn’t a loss of life. It could have been much, much worse,” Kelly said.

Wesley Reinhardt’s criminal history includes a misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon charge from July. Reinhardt was allegedly armed with a baseball bat near the tavern.

In 2010, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault on a law enforcement officer (among other charges) in Jefferson County, Missouri. He also has misdemeanor convictions for assault, theft, and property damage in Monroe County, Illinois.

The new attempted murder charge is a frightening step up -- a class X felony with a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

“In the State of Illinois, you have to have a specific type of intent, in that you are clearly trying to kill somebody; not just hurt somebody with a weapon, not just try to injure somebody, not just try to scare somebody,” Kelly said.

Therefore, Reinhardt’s bond of $750,000, which is more in keeping with an actual murder charge, was justified, Kelly said.