Alabama man convicted of killing 3 in SW Illinois in 2019

Jan 14, 2022, 4:14 PM | Updated: 4:21 pm

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An Alabama man was convicted Friday of killing three people in southwestern Illinois during a multistate crime spree.

A jury in Madison County needed less than an hour to return the verdict against Brady Witcher, who faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Shari Yates, 59, son Andrew “A.J.” Brooks, 30, and John McMillian, 32, were fatally shot in 2019 at a house in Bethalto, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of St. Louis.

“It was a dark day when (Witcher) and his co-defendant drove into our community, fleeing crimes in multiple other states, and destroyed so many lives,” State’s Attorney Tom Haine said.

Brittany McMillan, who has ties to the Bethalto area, was with Witcher during the homicides. She pleaded guilty in December.

McMillan and Witcher were living in Birmingham, Alabama, before hitting the road. They were arrested in Hazelwood, Missouri, and also had stopped in Tennessee.

Assistant State’s Attorney Lauren Maricle said Witcher wanted Yates’ car.

“He methodically executed every single human being at that home,” she said.

Defense attorney Steve Griffen tried to pin the blame on McMillan, claiming there was no direct evidence that Witcher entered the house. Prosecutors, however, tied the gun to Witcher and said he made incriminating statements at the jail.

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Alabama man convicted of killing 3 in SW Illinois in 2019