Ronnell L. Welch

EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine announced Thursday that a grand jury has issued an indictment for first-degree murder and reckless homicide against a driver accused of fleeing from police and causing a crash that, months later, resulted in the death of another motorist.

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In the indictment issued Thursday, Ronnell L. Welch, 39, of St. Louis is charged with two new counts: first-degree murder and reckless homicide. Welch had previously been charged with aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer, aggravated reckless driving, possession of stolen vehicle and residential burglary. Those initial charges were filed prior to the death of the victim.

On Nov. 14, 2022, Welch allegedly entered the residence of a Granite City woman with intent to commit a theft and stole her pickup. The charges allege that he then attempted to flee in the stolen pickup from Granite City Police officers. At the intersection of Illinois 3 and Rock Road, the pickup crashed into a truck driven by Devyn Trampe, 32, of St. Jacob, who suffered serious injuries.

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Mr. Trampe was a former U.S. Army military police officer. In September 2023, the victim died as a result of his injuries. Haine’s office then initiated a review of the charges and on Thursday presented the case to the grand jury, which issued the new indictment for first-degree murder and reckless homicide.

“Mr. Trampe served his country and had a promising future with his young family. I can’t begin to imagine the suffering and loss they’ve experienced,” Haine said. “I’m grateful that he had a loving family beside him.” Haine added: “We have seen, time and again, that fleeing from police is a bad choice. In Madison County, that choice will result in additional charges, particularly in cases which result in injuries to others.”

The initial charges against the defendant were filed prior to implementation of the SAFE-T Act.

At that time, his bail was set at $500,000 on the initial charges. On Thursday, Circuit Judge Kyle Napp granted a request by Haine’s office to modify the defendant’s bail, setting it at $1 million.

The defendant remained in custody at the Madison County Jail on Thursday.

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