Accused killers enter guilty pleas in Madison County courts

News-DemocratSeptember 7, 2013 

AP GRAPHIC

— Two murder cases set for trial have ended with guilty pleas in Madison County.

Rodney D. Mike, 34, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. He had been accused of shooting into the crowd at Jamarco Anthony's birthday celebration in May 2010 in Alton. Jamarco Anthony was killed, and his brother Jerrord Anthony was injured.

As part of his plea, Mike was sentenced to 20 years for the murder and six years on the aggravated battery charge. The sentences will run consecutively. Mike must serve at least 50 percent of the murder sentence and 85 percent of the battery charge. He had been set to go to trial next week.

Armondo J. Valdespino, 34, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder in the death of Christopher Olson.

Valdespino and Joseph Gasperoni were accused of killing Olson, a 35-year-old roofer from Portage Des Sioux, Mo. Olsen was found beaten and shot three times near Holiday Shores in the early hours of June 12, 2006.

Valdespino was sentenced to 26 years in prison, and must serve 100 percent of the sentence. He has been in custody since his arrest in 2006, and will receive credit for the time served.

Gasperoni was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to 38 years in prison. At his trial, a former cellmate testified that Gasperoni told him he and Valdespino had killed Olson. But Gasperoni maintained his innocence.

Valdespino was set for trial next month.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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