EDWARDSVILLE — A Madison County jury convicted a Granite City man of murder Friday in the 2012 beating death of 20-month-old Jaesean “Bug” Rusher following a weeklong jury trial at the Madison County Criminal Justice Center.
The case began with jury selection Monday morning in the case against John Holmon III, 42, who was charged by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office on Sept. 11, 2012, with first-degree murder. The case went to the jury at about 11:50 a.m. Friday. The jury deliberated almost three hours before returning a guilty verdict against Holmon.
Officers from the Granite City Police Department, along with Granite City Fire Department/EMS, responded to a 911 call to the home of Jaesean Rusher in the 2000 block of 14th Street in Granite City at approximately 12:59 p.m. Sept. 10, 2012. Jaesean, who was unresponsive, was taken to Gateway Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. The victim lived at the home with his mother, grandmother and Holmon, the mother’s boyfriend at the time. Jaesean had been left in the care of Holmon after his mother, Dollie Rusher, left for school around 6:30 a.m. The grandmother of Jaesean, the late Tommie Rusher, had recently returned to the residence before Holmon came to her with the lifeless body of Jaesean. She attempted CPR while phoning 911.
State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons and First Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Mudge presented evidence to the jury that supported the state’s claim that during the time Holmon was alone with Jaesean, he beat him and ultimately killed him. Autopsy results showed the victim had more than 50 injuries, with the cause of death listed as a closed head injury.
Gibbons expressed satisfaction with the guilty conviction.
“I’m pleased that the jury rejected the defense’s suggestion that Holmon wasn’t responsible for the death of Jaesean,” he said in a press release. “This poor little boy died a brutal death at the hands of someone he and his family trusted and today’s guilty verdict was a significant step toward justice for Jaesean.”
Holmon will remain in custody at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville, where he has been held without bond pending sentencing by Associate Judge Neil Schroeder. Sentencing will occur following the completion of a pre-sentencing investigation that usually takes 6 to 8 weeks. Normal penalty range for a murder conviction is 20 to 60 years in prison, but Holmon is eligible for extended time because of Jaesean’s age at the time of the murder. He will have to serve 100 percent of his sentence.
Gibbons offered his thanks to jurors for their service. Additionally, he conveyed his appreciation to Mudge, the Granite City Police Department, the Madison County coroner and all of the medical personnel whose work on the case contributed to the guilty verdict.
Follow @NewsAdVantage on Twitter