EDWARDSVILLE —Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons announced the conviction of a 19-year-old Lovejoy man Thursday morning for the murder of a 16-year-old boy in 2014.
Opening statements began Tuesday in the case against Craig D. Miller. He was originally charged with first-degree murder on July 14, 2014, following a shooting at a local market in Madison that left Malik A. Garrett dead.
Police officers from several jurisdictions responded to multiple 911 calls from Sammy’s Market, 308 Madison Ave., at approximately 5:15 p.m. Friday, July 11, 2014. Garrett, who was found lying on the ground, had been shot three times and was still alive when police arrived. He was transported to Gateway Regional Medical Center, where he died an hour later from gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen.
Based on evidence from the scene and witnesses, police officers identified and located Miller later that evening. The investigation revealed there had been an ongoing dispute between the defendant and the victim. Miller arrived at the scene and fired into a crowd, which included Garrett and three other males.
Garrett was the only one who was shot.
“We are happy to secure this guilty verdict and justice for the victim’s family, the city of Madison and all citizens of Madison County,” Gibbons said. “I want to thank the prosecutors from our Violent Crimes Unit, Crystal Uhe and Lauren Heischmidt, for their extraordinary trial work, as well as the outstanding support from our entire staff. We owe a debt of gratitude for the excellent investigative work of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Madison, Granite City, Venice and Brooklyn police departments, the Madison County Coroner’s Office and Illinois State Police Division of Forensic Sciences.”
Prosecutors presented evidence, including witness testimony, during the trial to support the state’s charges against Miller. Following a two-day trial, the jury deliberated approximately one hour before returning a guilty verdict.
“Our prayers are with the victim’s family as they seek healing and closure from this terrible crime,” Gibbons said. “We look forward to securing a very lengthy sentence to keep this dangerous criminal behind bars well into the future. “
Miller will remain in custody at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville, pending sentencing by Circuit Judge Kyle Napp. Sentencing will occur following the completion of a pre-sentencing investigation, which typically takes 6 to 8 weeks. Maximum penalty for murder is 20 to 60 years in prison. Because he used a firearm, Miller is eligible for an additional 25-year sentence. He will be required to serve 100 percent of his sentence.