Coal City man pleads not guilty in shooting death of 24-year-old bartender girlfriend

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As friends and family said their final goodbyes to Kaitlyn Kearns, the 32-year-old Coal City man accused in her killing was in a Will County courtroom Monday where he pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges.

Jeremy Boshears, who authorities say is a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, faces three counts of first degree murder in the shooting death of Kearns. Authorities say the two met at the Joliet bar where she began working about a month ago and dated for about two weeks.

Boshears' wife and other family members and friends attended Monday's court hearing, his attorney Neil Patel said. Boshear's wife and others with her declined comment after the court hearing.

Patel declined to comment on how Boshears knew Kearns or if the two had dated.

Boshears remains in the Will County Adult Detention Facility on $10 million bond.

Meanwhile, Kearns' brother, Matt, and five others wearing white gloves silently carried the casket bearing his sister from St. Mary Catholic Church following a funeral Mass on Monday morning.

About 100 people attended the service to pay their final respects to Kearns, one week after the 24-year-old New Lenox Township woman went missing.

Attendants quickly filed into cars during the cold and windy morning following the one-hour-long Mass and drove in procession through the streets of Mokena to St. John Cemetery for Kearns' burial.

Kearns went missing early last week and was later found dead in a pole barn in a rural part of Kankakee County, about 50 miles from Joliet, authorities said. Kearns, whose body was found in the rear of her 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee, had been shot once in the head, the Kankakee Coroner's Office had determined.

Kearns' father reported her missing last Tuesday. She was last seen early Monday after working at Woody's Bar, 1005 E. Washington Street in Joliet, according to a news release.

News of the murder charges, which were filed Saturday, were met with "relief" from family members, Kearns' brother, Matt said.

"It was nice to know that something was happening," he said previously. "You'll never have closure in a situation like this, it will always be in your life; but it gives you something."

He also thanked investigators for their "swiftness" in making an arrest within days of family members reporting her missing.

Boshears is scheduled to appear in court again Tuesday. Patel filed a motion Monday to preserve evidence related to the investigation.


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