EDWARDSVILLE — State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons announced a Madison County jury on Thursday convicted a 27-year-old Glen Carbon man for the murder of a 5-year-old boy in 2013.
Opening statements began Tuesday in the case against Tavon K. Ludy, originally charged Dec. 1, 2013, with two counts of first degree murder, a Class M felony, following the death of 5-year-old Torian Whitaker on Sept. 29, 2013. Ludy was also charged with aggravated battery to a child, a Class 3 felony, regarding abuse allegations involving another child in the home. Court documents state he struck both victims with his fists.
First Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Mudge of the Violent Crimes Unit and Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Nolan of the Children’s Justice Division presented evidence, including testimony from the victims’ 10-year-old brother, during the trial to support the state’s charges against Ludy.
Gibbons thanked his staff, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn and all of the medical personnel whose work on this case contributed to the successful outcome.
“Our team fought for justice for these two little boys, and today that hard work paid off,” he said in a press release. “We can now move on to sentencing so that we can remove this violent monster from our community and he can never harm another child.”
Gibbons also commended the outstanding bravery of the young witness who testified during the trial.
“Testifying in front of a courtroom filled with people, including the man who murdered your brother, is not an easy feat by any means,” he said. “The display of bravery by this young man is something that we can all admire. I am hopeful that he is able to find peace during his time of healing after this senseless tragedy.”
Ludy will remain in custody at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville, where he has been held since his arrest in 2013. Sentencing by Circuit Judge Kyle Napp will occur following the completion of a pre-sentencing investigation, which usually takes 6 to 8 weeks.
Penalty range for a murder conviction is 20-60 years in prison, but Ludy is eligible for an extended sentence of 60-100 years because of Torian’s age at the time of the murder. Ludy also faces 2-5 years in prison for the Class 3 felony. He will have to serve 100 percent of his sentence.