You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Decatur Man on Charges of Murder and Hobbs Act Robbery

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A grand jury today returned a superseding indictment that charges Matthew J. Higgins-Vogt, 24, of Decatur, Ill., in the April 3, 2015, armed robbery of the Circle K convenience store and the April 5, 2015, murder of Paige Mars, also of Decatur.


The indictment alleges that on April 3, 2015, Higgins-Vogt and Kelton Snyder robbed the Circle K convenience store at 1685 S. Baltimore in Decatur, and took money, including the contents of the cash register, and alcohol, while brandishing a 12-gauge shotgun. On or about April 5, the indictment alleges that Higgins-Vogt killed Paige Mars to prevent Mars from communicating with law enforcement about the robbery.


The case is being prosecuted in federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Bohm and Katherine Boyle. The Decatur Police Department and FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.


Higgins-Vogt has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his initial appearance on Feb. 17, 2017. He will be arraigned on the indictment in federal court in Urbana on a date to be determined by the U.S. Clerk of the Court. Trial for Higgins-Vogt is currently scheduled on Sept. 18. A jury previously convicted Snyder on similar charges and he is serving a life sentence.


The indictment returned today charges Higgins-Vogt with interference with commerce by violence, otherwise known as a Hobbs Act Robbery; killing a witness; use of a firearm resulting in death; brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm by a felon.


If convicted, the penalty for killing a witness is life in prison; use of a firearm resulting in murder is up to life in prison; brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime is a mandatory minimum of seven years and a maximum of up to life in prison, to be served consecutive to any term of imprisonment ordered for the underlying crime of violence; Hobbs Act Robbery is up to 20 years in prison; and being a felon in possession of a firearm is up to 10 years in prison.


Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.


Updated July 12, 2017