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He helped a man gamble. It grew deadly when he asked for some of the cash, police say

Police say Ray James helped Cody Drew gamble on a poker video game — and James stabbed him to death after he asked for a split of the winnings in Decatur, Illinois, and was denied.
Police say Ray James helped Cody Drew gamble on a poker video game — and James stabbed him to death after he asked for a split of the winnings in Decatur, Illinois, and was denied. Illinois Police

A fatal stabbing in Illinois on Thursday might have started as an argument over gambling — and more specifically, $20, police say.

Ray James, 48, was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree murder after police say he stabbed and killed 24-year-old Cody L. Drew late Thursday in the city of Decatur, according to the Herald-Review. James stabbed Drew “multiple” times, police allege.

After his death was announced, the restaurant that employed Drew sent out a Facebook status revealing that it “lost one of its servers last night to senseless violence.”

“Cody Drew was an outstanding employee and remarkable young man. He lived an eventful life and squeezed every bit of enjoyment from each moment he lived,” it read. “I can still hear the joyous sound of his voice as he called out to the kitchen, ‘Yea, boy!’ Or ‘What’s gooood?.’”

“We love you, Cody, and will keep you alive in our hearts and memories.”

Police documents say that James had originally helped Drew as the 24-year-old played an electronic poker game, according to WANDTV. Drew won $150 after taking the advice, a witness told police, but he refused to give a portion of his winnings to James.

The witness told authorities that he tried to escort Drew and his friend to their car, but later exited the bar to find James standing over Drew and punching him, according to court documents reviewed by WANDTV. James later told police that he helped a “white kid win money” and that he asked for $20 — but denied knowing anything about the fight.

Police say he had a “beach cruiser” bicycle that matched an eyewitness account, WANDTV reported.

James is currently in Macon County Jail, according to Fox55.

Holly Harrison told the Herald-Review that she knew Drew because the man would always get his tattoos done at her business, Oakwood Tattoos. She described Drew as “the color in a black and gray room.”

“He brings the light to any situation, no matter how bad of a day you’re having,” she told the Herald-Review. “He’d be that person to stop what he’s doing, take his time, sit down and talk to you.

“He just had one of those personalities that he’d just walk in a room and it’s like a light turned on.”

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