EDWARDSVILLE - First-degree murder charges have been filed against a 16-year-old and 17-year-old following a shooting which occurred on June 4, 2020, Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said.
Deandre J. Richardson (d.o.b. 6/6/03) and Nicholas Rickman II (d.o.b. 5/24/04) are both charged with three counts of First-Degree Murder, (Class M felonies) and Armed Robbery (Class X felony). Under Illinois State Statute, an individual 16 years of age or older who commits the offense of First Degree Murder is charged as an adult. Richardson and Rickman are both Granite City residents.
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At 10:33 p.m. on June 5, 2020, the Granite City Police Department responded to the 2500 block of Madison Avenue in Granite City for a report of shots fired. When officers arrived, they located a black male victim unconscious at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was later identified as 18-year-old Sean D. Williams of Granite City, IL.
Williams was transported to Gateway Regional Hospital in Granite City where he was pronounced by medical staff at the Emergency Room as deceased at approximately 11:05 p.m. Under Illinois law, a person may be charged under multiple alternative theories of first-degree murder for one offense.
In this case, the defendants have been charged with three alternative theories. The first count is based on the theory that the defendants intended to kill the victim at the time one of them shot him. The second count is based on the theory that when one of them shot him they knew there was a strong probability of death or great bodily harm to the victim. The third is based on the theory that the murder occurred during the course of a forcible felony, which in this case is Armed Robbery. First Assistant State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe said, “While the loss of any life is heartbreaking, it is even more so in cases like this which involve such a young victim and young defendants. The circumstances surrounding this case can only be described as tragic. However, once again the men and women of the Major Case Squad have risen to the call of duty and have again proven that they are the finest example of law enforcement officers. The collaboration between skilled and professional investigators of Granite City Police Department, the Illinois State Police and detectives of the Major Case Squad, from both in and around Madison County, led to these charges being brought against those responsible for taking the life of Sean Williams. This is the first step toward achieving justice for Mr. Williams’s family."
It is an honor to work beside them,” Major Mike Nordstrom, Assistant Chief of Police with the Granite City Police Department, said. “First and foremost, my deepest sympathies go out to the family of Sean Williams. Secondly, I would like to thank all of the members of the Major Case Squad, Illinois State Police, Madison County Coroner’s Office, Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons and First Assistant Crystal Uhe for all of their diligent effort and dedication shown during this investigation. These are true professionals and should be commended for the work that was done to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion.”
Lt. Ken Wojtowicz, with the St. Louis Major Case Squad, said: “On behalf of the Major Case Squad I would like to extend my condolences to the family of Sean Williams. 23 investigators from 17 different agencies responded to assist the Granite City Police Department with this investigation. Through their hard work and long hours, investigators were able to identify two suspects in this case. Working with the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office, charges were filed today. While this does not replace the life that was lost, it is my hope that this provides some form of justice to the family of Sean Williams.”
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons acknowledged the vital work of the Granite City Police Department, the Illinois State Police, and the Major Case Squad for their quick action to locate the suspects. Gibbons praised his prosecutor First Assistant State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe, Head of the Violent Crimes Unit, for the swift collaboration with law enforcement on this senseless, violent case. Gibbons offered his condolences to the family, said, “While we cannot truly fathom the depths of grief and loss felt by the family and friends of the victim, we must pray for them and do everything we can to ensure that they and our community will have justice for this tragic loss.”
Each defendant is be being held on a $1,000,000 bail set by Circuit Judge Richard Tognarelli. If convicted of one count of first-degree murder, the sentencing range is 20 – 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. If convicted of Armed Robbery, the sentencing range is 6 – 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Additional enhancements due to the use of a firearm may also apply.
These charges, as well as the statements made herein, are based upon probable cause. The defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.