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Trial date set for man accused of shooting death

A Potosi man will go to trial in March for the shooting death of 48-year-old Eugene Hillemann.

Jimmie A. Perko, 48, of Potosi, is charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and discharging a firearm from a vehicle. Perko’s trial has been set for March 28-30 before Circuit Court Judge Kenneth W. Pratte in Washington County.

Perko is being represented by Scott Rosenblum. More than 30 people were in the courtroom to show support for Perko during his preliminary hearing in February where he was bound over on the charges.

Hillemann died of a massive gun shot to his chest. 

During the preliminary hearing, Hillemann’s live-in girlfriend testified she let their dog out the morning of Jan. 17. She said later on, she checked on the dog because she heard it growling. She said she saw Perko, a neighbor, sitting by a tree across the road. She got upset and told Hillemann, who then put on his glasses and shoes.

She testified Hillemann opened the door to step outside, Hillemann “got shot” and fell to the ground clutching his chest.

She said she shook Hillemann but he didn’t move or make any noise. She said Perko looked her way and then walked away with a gun in his hand. She said he was wearing tan overalls.

The woman said she didn’t know what to do. She said she had a cell phone but there was no cell signal at the trailer.

She said she got in her car and started driving to get a signal. She said at first she tried to call a woman who lives in that area who is a firefighter. She said she wasn’t able to get in touch with the woman so she called a man and woman who also live in the Indian Creek area. She said she had a signal that was going in and out as she tried to tell the woman to call 911 because Hillemann had been shot.

She said she then went to another couple’s home and told them what had happened. They went back to Hillemann’s trailer to check on Hillemann before the couple went to a nearby store to call 911.

The woman said when police arrived, she initially lied and said she was there to see if Hillemann could work on her car. She admitted that associating with Hillemann was a violation of her probation/parole because he was also a convicted felon. She has convictions for passing a bad check and endangering the welfare of a child. According to, Hillemann had a conviction for felony driving while revoked.

While police were still at the crime scene, Perko returned and was taken into custody.

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