MOUNT CARMEL — Bond is set at $500,000 cash or $5 million surety for a Mount Carmel man charged with first degree murder in a Wednesday stabbing death in the city.

Ruben A. Corzine, 32, appeared in Wabash Circuit Court Thursday morning before Judge Larry Dunn of Olney, where the first degree murder charging information was presented.  The charge carries a potential sentence of 20 years to life in prison if Corzine is convicted.

Judge Dunn found probable cause for the warrant for Corzine's arrest and set bond, then scheduled a preliminary hearing for 1 pm. Feb. 10.

The judge also found Corzine to be indigent, and appointed public defender James Lane of Robinson as his counsel. 

Corzine is accused in the stabbing death of Jennifer L. Phelps at their home at 909 North Cherry Street in Mount Carmel.

Mount Carmel Police Chief Ryan Turner reported Wednesday afternoon that the department and the Wabash County Coroner are investigating the case. According to the MCPD Chief, police were dispatched following a 8:39 a.m. 911 call regarding a stabbing at that address. 

Arriving at the address, police discovered Phelps, who was deceased, and located Corzine at the scene and arrested him.

Wabash County Sheriff's Office, Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services and Wabash General Emergency Medical Services assisted at the scene.

Corzine, who remains in custody at the Wabash County Jail, appeared in court Jan. 24, according to court records, regarding terms of probation for 2017 convictions of felony use/possession of a firearm and reckless discharge of a firearm. 

— Email Andrea Howe at

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