Alabama man found guilty of murdering 3 in southwestern Illinois in 2019 | Crime-and-courts

EDWARDSVILLE — An Alabama man was convicted on Friday of killing three people in southwestern Illinois in a cross-state crime spree.

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

Shari Yates, 59, her son Andrew “AJ” Brooks, 30, and John McMillian, 32, were fatally shot in 2019 at a home in Bethalto, about 20 miles northeast of St. Louis.

“It was a dark day when (Witcher) and his co-defendant entered our community, fleeing crimes in several 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.

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

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

“He methodically executed every human being in this house,” she said.

Defense attorney Steve Griffen tried to pin the blame on McMillan, saying there was no direct evidence the Witcher entered the house. Prosecutors, however, linked the weapon to the Witcher and said he made incriminating statements while in prison.

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