New details available in Charleston death

Corryn Brock, Staff Reporter

According to court documents, Joshua A. Fairchild, 26, of Charleston is accused of murdering Charleston woman Cheleta S. Branch by stabbing her in the throat. 

The event allegedly occurred sometime between April 1 and June 25. 

According to the documents, Branch’s body was covered with a tarp and multiple clothing items at Fairchild’s 802 Jackson Ave. residence. 

Fairchild has been charged with two felonies, murder and concealing a homicidal death. He is expected to make an appearance in court next week. 

The accused’s bond was set at $1,000,000. He would need to post $100,000 to be released from jail. 

Officers with the Charleston Police Department responded to the 800 block of Jackson Avenue on June 25 for a well-being check and located Fairchild at his residence. Officers then executed a search warrant and found the deceased. 

Fairchild was transported to the Charleston Police Department for further investigation where police say they developed probable cause and arrested Fairchild for Branch’s murder.

Fairchild has been previously sentenced for theft, battery and criminal property damage. He was serving a 24-month probation sentence at the time of Branch’s death. 

The Coles County Coroner Office has not been able to be reached as of 10 a.m. Tuesday. This story will be updated as more information is made available.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]