A Granite City man found guilty twice now of murder in connection with the death of a former East Alton woman will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. 52-year-old Brian Pinkas shot and killed his then girlfriend, Sharon Reynolds, during an argument at the couple's home in 2004. Pinkas successfully appealed a 2005 conviction and sentencing to 20 years in prison in the apparent hope a retrial would result in conviction on a lesser charge and less prison time.
Instead, he has been sentenced to a total of 45 years - 20 years for the murder, plus the additional 25 years because a gun was used in the murder. He could have been sentenced to a total of 85 years, as the murder conviction carried the potential for a maximum penalty of 60 years. Anyone convicted of murder in Illinois is required to serve 100% of their sentence. Pinkas claims he didn't know the gun was loaded. Madison County prosecutors argued Pinkas knew what he was doing when he beat, then shot Reynolds to death.