EDWARDSVILLE — After a week of trial, Madison County prosecutors were victorious Thursday evening when a jury found a 33-year-old man guilty of first-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting outside a tire shop, according to Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine.

Fred W. Williams Jr.The jury found Fred W. Williams Jr. of East St. Louis guilty of murder in the June 2021 shooting death of Delas M. Carter, 30, of Alorton. The shooting happened outside a Granite City tire shop where Carter was employed.

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“This was a chilling and brazen crime that shocked our community,” Haine said. “We are glad that our prosecutors were able to secure a conviction here so this violent criminal will remain safely behind bars. We also hope is that this conviction is a step in the healing process for the family members of Mr. Carter, who were present in court throughout the trial, and who we continue to hold in our prayers during this difficult time.”

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Delas CarterEvidence showed that Williams ran up to 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 at Carter from point-blank range as he lay on the ground. Altogether, Carter had 10 bullet wounds. Assistant State’s Attorney Luke Yager, in his closing argument, called it “an execution in broad daylight.”

The shooting was caught on security camera 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.

Williams and Carter were acquainted, though there was no clear motive. Haine commended the work of Yager and Assistant State’s Attorney Phillip 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.

Williams will be sentenced later. Due to a firearms enhancement, the conviction carries a sentence range of 45 years to life in prison. The trial began Monday before Circuit Judge Kyle Napp.

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