GENEVA – The supporters of a Geneva man accused of killing his wife have set up an online fundraiser for his legal fees over the objections of his wife’s family.
The Shad King Legal Fees page was created Tuesday on the crowd-funding website GoFundMe by Lisa Bridgewater, according to the fundraiser’s main page. There were no donors during the first 24 hours of the campaign, which has a goal of $50,000.
Shad – which is short for Shadwick – King is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in his wife Kathleen’s July 6 death. He remained in the Kane County Jail on Wednesday afternoon on a $1.5 million bond, according to online records.
The fundraiser page describes King as a good-natured and cheerful person. His supporters want to raise money to make sure King receives “an adequate legal defense,” according to the page. Bridgewater on Wednesday did not immediately respond to two emails seeking comment.
“We are raising money for his legal defense so that he can get back to raising his sons,” according to a description of the fundraiser on the page. “Shad King has been wrongfully charged with a crime he did not commit. Those of you that know Shad understand that he is always positive and fun to be around.”
Members of Kathleen King’s extended family, who declined to be interviewed for the story, objected to the fundraiser for King. The family has been exchanging emails with GoFundMe representatives about the page, which was still active Wednesday evening.
“Unfortunately, we are not able to give out information about the pages that are created,” wrote a GoFundMe spokesman identified only as Greg in an email. “I can tell you that people are able to raise money for legal fees.”
A previous King fundraiser page set up under another website, giveforward.com, was removed “because of the concerns that have surfaced,” and the fact that the group does not support fundraisers for legal fees in general, wrote a GiveForward Fundraising Coach identified only as Adrienne in an email. The email had been sent to a Kathleen King family member on Tuesday and shared with the Kane County Chronicle.
Associate Judge Clint Hull determined during King’s July 11 bond hearing that he qualified to have a public defender appointed. King said during the hearing that he took a leave of absence from his job, had $400 in a debit card account and had no other income at the time.
Kane County Public Defender Kelli Childress said she assigned King’s case to herself.
As of Wednesday, the Kane County Public Defender’s Office still represents King, she said.
King’s next court date is Aug. 22.