Man gets 55 years for ESL killing; Kelly applauds judge's strong sentence

News-DemocratJuly 27, 2013 

A 47-year-old Alorton man who was found guilty of murdering an East St. Louis man has been sentenced to serve 55 years in prison.

Estil Stamps was convicted of killing Fananza "Nan" Beard, 46.

A St. Clair County jury convicted Stamps in June. St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly announced Stamps' sentence on Tuesday.

Assistant State's Attorneys Judith Dalan and Deborah Phillips presented evidence at trial that showed that Stamps shot Beard once in the eye at 33rd Street and Bond Avenue in East St. Louis in March 2010.

Dalan and Phillips asked for a sentence of 55 years for Stamps. The presiding judge, Zina Cruse, imposed the 55-year sentence -- 30 years for the first-degree murder charge and 25 years was added due to a statutory sentencing provision that enhances sentences by 25 years to natural life when the defendant personally discharges a weapon that causes death to another person.

Kelly said Stamps will be required to serve 100 percent of the sentence imposed.

The East St. Louis Police Department and Illinois State Police investigated the case.

Kelly thanked them for their efforts in the investigation. He also thanked the prosecutors, who are a part of the County's Violent Crimes Unit. And, he said, "The people also appreciate Judge Cruse's strong sentence."

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

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