Local man charged with murdering Illinois deputy was known to local law enforcement

Daylon Richardson is charged in Deputy Nicholas Weist's death.
Daylon Richardson is charged in Deputy Nicholas Weist's death.(Henry County Sheriff's Department)
Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 5:50 PM CDT
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METRO EAST (KMOV) - A local man with a long criminal history is charged with killing a sheriff’s deputy in Illinois.

Daylon Richardson is accused of hitting and killing Knox County Deputy Nicholas Weist during a police chase about three-and-a-half hours north of St. Louis. That crash was on April 29th, and according to police, it is not Richardson’s first time leading cops on a high-stakes pursuit.

News 4 Investigates is asking why Richardson wasn’t behind bars, how he slipped through the cracks of the justice system and wondering if he had been in jail if that deputy would still be alive today. Memorials in Knox County show the heartbreak of losing a deputy in the line of duty.

“We are saddened, not only our small group but our entire communities should be deeply saddened by this,” said Knox County Sheriff David Clague.

Pictures from a tribute video posted online show the 34-year-old married man and father of two. His obituary states he wanted to be a police officer since he was very little.

According to the Illinois State Police, Weist was setting up spike strips during a pursuit of Richardson. They said he had a gun and that he hit the deputy with his car and then crashed.

Richardson has a long rap sheet, with charges including vehicular hijacking in 2017 in St. Clair County and mob action in 2020 in Madison County. In that case, he reportedly chased a man and punched him. But it’s Richardson’s alleged actions this year that are raising the most questions.

In January, he was charged with fleeing police and resisting a peace officer in Granite City. Richardson posted bond in February, according to the docket. Then, on March 9th, Granite City police said he was running from them again and had a weapon. He was charged, but not arrested, according to the docket.

That same day, St. Louis City Police say in-car camera surveillance video showed Richardson firing several shots while driving on I-70 and then continuing to run from the police. But again, officers said he was never arrested.

Police also filed charges against him on April 13th, but the St. Louis prosecutor’s office refused the charge, asking police to obtain more evidence.

So, from March 9th to April 29th it appears Richardson made his way north and eventually got in that police chase that killed Deputy Weist. Five days after Weist died, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office filed charges on Richardson for the chase that took place in the city.

News 4 asked for an explanation, but the Circuit Attorney’s office said they don’t comment on a pending case. The Madison County prosecutor was not available for an interview and Granite City Police did not respond to our requests for information.