EDWARDSVILLE — A Cahokia man was charged Monday with two felonies and one misdemeanor for his role in the death of Madison man who died in a hospital after police found him lying unconscious on a road in Madison.
Madison County Sheriff’s Capt. T. Mike Dixon, deputy commander of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis, said in a press release Terrance J. Smith, 24, was charged with with one felony charge of reckless homicide, one felony charge of aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, and one misdemeanor charge of driving while license revoked. Associate Judge Jennifer Hightower signed and issued the arrest warrant, setting Smith’s bond at $200,000.
The Madison Police Department responded at approximately 5:15 a.m. April 9 to a 911 call of a man lying in the roadway on Big Bend Road, just east of Illinois Route 203. The man was identified as Nicholas L. Roberts, 27, of Madison.
Roberts was unconscious at the time of his discovery and showed obvious signs of head trauma. He was transported to a St. Louis area hospital for treatment. Medical officials pronounced him dead April 12, but he was placed on life support for organ donation purposes. Roberts was taken off life support on the morning of April 14.
The Major Case Squad investigation revealed Roberts was with Smith during the early morning hours of April 9 at a nightclub in Brooklyn. Video surveillance seized by investigators show the two men leaving the club at approximately 4:25 a.m. The investigation revealed the two entered the vehicle Smith was driving after leaving the club, with plans to go home for the night.
Shortly after leaving the club, a Brooklyn police officer stopped the vehicle for traffic-related offenses. The traffic stop took place at approximately 4:27 a.m. on Canal Street, between Eighth and Cornell streets. As the officer exited his vehicle and approached the stopped vehicle, Smith accelerated and fled from the officer at a high rate of speed, east on Canal Street toward Eagle Park Road. The Brooklyn officer re-entered his vehicle and initiated a brief pursuit but terminated the pursuit within approximately 400 yards because of hazardous conditions and safety concerns. The officer’s in-car camera shows he terminated the pursuit by turning off his squad car’s emergency lights, and doing a u-turn. Smith kept driving east on Eagle Park Road toward Illinois 203 at a high rate of speed after the officer terminated the pursuit. Additional surveillance located by investigators shows that the Brooklyn officer, as well as his backup officers, returned to normal patrols in Brooklyn after ending the pursuit.
The investigation and evidence supports the fact that Roberts exited, or was extracted from, Smith’s vehicle shortly after it crossed over Illinois 203 onto Big Bend Road in Madison. The information and evidence collected during the investigation suggests Roberts fell to the road after leaving Smith’s vehicle, likely striking his head on the road and causing the trauma that ultimately resulted in his death. The location where Roberts is found lying in the road is approximately a mile and a half from the location that the police pursuit was terminated.
Anyone having additional information related to the death of Nicholas Roberts is asked to contact the Madison Police Department at (618) 876-4300.