Olney Man Sentenced 50 Years for 2020 Murder

Olney Man Sentenced 50 Years for 2020 Murder

Pictured (left-right): Rick Meador, Kalia Arnone, Tara Haws

RICHLAND COUNTY – A 20-year-old Olney man was sentenced Thursday in Richland County Court to 50-years in prison for the murder of 19-year-old Kyle M. Johnson on an Olney street in 2020.

Fifty years was the maximum sentence Rick Meador was facing after he pleaded guilty last September to one of four counts first-degree murder stemming from Johnson’s September 6, 2020, shooting death.

Rick Meador and his then 16-year-old girlfriend Kalia Arnone were arrested in Florida three weeks after Johnson’s murder. They had first fled to Mt. Vernon where a manhunt for the couple led to their vehicle being discovered.

Both were returned to Illinois and charged with first-degree murder in connection with Johnson’s death.  

Arnone was tried as an adult and was sentenced to 15 years in IDOC for conspiracy to commit murder.

Three others were charged in connection with Johnson’s murder, including the Arnone’s 35-year-old mother Tara Haws and 33-year-old Dale Boatman Jr., — both of whom were charged with multiple counts first-degree murder.

Meador agreed to testify against Haws during her trial in exchange for a sentencing range in his case of 20 to 50 years.

In March a jury found Haws guilty of first-degree murder and on Thursday she was also sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Boatman pleaded guilty last October to Class X felony aggravated battery through the discharge of a firearm. He was sentenced to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

A 44-year-old Mt. Vernon woman Misty Whipple was later charged with felony aiding a fugitive for allegedly renting a van that was used to take the young couple to Florida, with the intent to help them escape the law.

She pleaded guilty in Jefferson County Court last month and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 24 months probation.