EDWARDSVILLE - Madison County State’s Attorney Thomas A. Haine announced a 78-year prison sentence Thursday for a killer in what prosecutors described as an execution in broad daylight outside a tire shop. The sentence was handed to 33-year-old Fred W. Williams Jr., who fired multiple close-range shots at an acquaintance, Delas M. Carter, 30, of Alorton.
The shooting happened outside a Granite City tire shop where Carter was employed. Carter had stepped outside the business when Williams opened fire on him in June 2021. “We’re glad that the judge saw this criminal for who he is: a ruthless killer who needs to remain safely behind bars for a long time,” Haine said. “We hope that this sentence brings some solace and healing to Mr. Carter’s family members, who have endured so much grief and have exhibited great stoicism throughout the court process.”
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After a week-long trial in March, a jury found Williams, of East St. Louis, guilty of first-degree murder and reckless discharge of a firearm. Evidence presented by Assistant State’s Attorney Luke Yager and Assistant State’s Attorney Phillip Voss showed that Williams approached Carter outside the building and began firing at close range, striking Carter multiple times. Williams began to run away, but stopped, returned and fired more shots while standing over Carter, who had fallen to the ground. Altogether, Carter had 10 bullet wounds.
The shooting was caught on security video but the shooter’s face was covered. Williams’ identity as the shooter was later confirmed through photo and clothing comparisons, extensive cell-phone analysis, License Plate Reader data, and a DNA match on clothing found in a getaway car. The investigation did not reveal a motive. Haine commended the work of prosecutors Yager and Voss, along with the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis, Granite City Police, Illinois State Police and the Regional Computer Crimes Education and Enforcement Group.
“The thorough work of the prosecution team and the investigators on this case painted a very clear picture for the jury and for the sentencing judge,” Haine said. At Williams’sentencing hearing Thursday, Yager argued that the killing was a “pure and simple execution.” Circuit Judge Kyle Napp told Williams the security video showed him “coming back to ensure that you got the job done.” The judge said the footage “was hard to watch, and I’ve seen a lot.”
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