EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine announced Thursday that a 25-year-old Madison man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting in Venice. Gerrin L. Massie pleaded guilty to firing a shot that killed Kenneth Stanley Jr., 30, on May 12, 2020.

Private surveillance video showed Massie exiting a vehicle on Market Street in Venice, then walking down the street to the rear of a vehicle occupied by Stanley and two others. Massie fired 15 rounds into the back of the car, but only one bullet struck a person - Stanley. Stanley died of a gunshot to the back of his head.

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The maximum sentence available under the plea agreement is 40 years in prison, while the minimum sentence for first-degree murder is 20 years. Massie’s sentencing hearing is set for Dec. 9.

“We intend to ask for the maximum available sentence of 40 years,” Haine said. “Violent crime has to be met with an appropriate measure of justice, not just for the victim but for our community. Street crimes are a particular concern for our office because they threaten the well-being of our neighborhoods and can bring harm to innocent bystanders.”

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There was no clear motive for the killing. Haine offered condolences to the family of Stanley, whose father is well-known in the Madison area as a basketball coach.

“Nothing is going to totally restore the Stanley family after their loss, but we hope this plea allows the healing to begin,” Haine said.

Haine commended Illinois State Police, Venice Police, Madison Police, Assistant State’s Attorney Luke Yager, and Assistant State’s Attorney Mike Stewart for their work on the case.

“I also commend the many neighbors who assisted the authorities in their investigation,” Haine said. “The Venice community came together to help bring Mr. Stanley’s killer to justice here.

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