A dispute early Saturday morning in a car traveling on I-72 just east of Hannibal has resulted in a stabbing death and a first-degree murder charge.

A dispute early Saturday morning in a car traveling on I-72 just east of Hannibal has resulted in a stabbing death and a first-degree murder charge.

Dennis S. Coffman, 47, of Hannibal, died at 2:38 a.m. Saturday at Hannibal Regional Hospital.

His funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, July 25, at the James O'Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal, after visitation beginning at noon.  Burial will be at Hydesburg Cemetery of Hannibal, Mo.

Joseph M. Coffman, 28, of Fort McDowell, Ariz., was arrested at the scene Saturday. On Monday, July 21, he was charged with first degree murder. Coffman’s warrant accused him of stabbing Dennis Coffman multiple times with a knife, causing his death.

Joseph Coffman is scheduled to make his first court appearance at 9:30 a.m. today, July 22, in Pike County Circuit Court, Pittsfield, Ill., according to Pike County, Ill., State’s Attorney Matt Goetten.

Goetten, who filed the single count of first-degree murder, reported it is anticipated that Coffman will be advised of the charge and bond will be addressed. Coffman remained in the Pike County, Ill., Jail on Monday, where he had been incarcerated since his arrest on Saturday.

Filing the murder charge was the result of a multi-department effort, Goetten said. He added that Pike County, Ill., Sheriff Paul Petty and his department, as well as several investigators from the Illinois State Police and Pike County State’s Attorney’s office had spent much of the previous 48 hours engaged in investigating the incident, which occurred on I-72 near Hull, Ill. The investigation was continuing, he said.

“I applaud the efforts and professionalism of all the law enforcement officers involved in this investigation,” Goetten said. “While there is much work ahead for those departments on this case, their early coordination was critical to the progress to date.”


Incident reported

12:54 a.m. July 19


Sheriff Petty reported his department received a 911 call at 12:54 a.m. July 19, with the caller reporting a stabbing in a vehicle east of Hannibal. It was near mile marker one near the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge at Hannibal.

Officers with the Pike County and Adams County sheriff's departments and the Illinois State Police were called to the scene. Petty said they found two men in a small Chevrolet pickup, which had apparently drifted off the roadway into the grass on the eastbound side of I-72 just past exit No. 1 from the bridge.

Dennis Coffman was taken to Hannibal Regional Hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in an apparent altercation inside the vehicle, Petty said, and Joseph Coffman was taken into custody and transported to Pike County Jail.

Petty said he received two court-authorized search warrants. One was for the 2009 Chevrolet pickup truck, which was taken into custody of law enforcement.

The second was for Joseph Coffman, who had been arrested at the scene. Coffman was originally charged with aggravated battery, prior to Goetten filing the murder charge.