A Belleville man was sentenced to 14 years Monday for the murder of Edrick Wicks, who died in his wife’s arms after he was shot May 8 in East St. Louis.
Glendon Nettles, 42, was arrested the day of the shooting and convicted of second-degree murder Oct. 30 after pleading guilty. The judge said the whole situation was “a tragedy.”
Wicks, 38, of East St. Louis, was shot three times just three blocks from his home at the corner of Piggott Avenue and South 15th Street. At Monday’s sentencing, Vicki Wicks said since her husband’s death, her “whole life has changed.”
Vicki Wicks described how on May 8, she drove to the corner, which she said was a common spot for people to socialize, to pick up her husband after receiving a text from him. Three minutes later, she pulled up and saw a man laying on the sidewalk in front of her. As she walked toward the body, she realized it was her husband.
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“I can see the side of his face and I scream, ‘Somebody, anyone call 911.’ I lift his head up in my arms, I look down into his eyes and see blood coming out of his mouth. I knew he was gone,” she said through tears.
All I want is justice for my son’s death.
Felicia Higgs, Edrick Wick’s mother
Lloyd Cueto and Derek Seigel, Nettles’ lawyers, said Nettles shot Wicks because he thought his life was in danger. Cueto said Wicks had threatened Nettles before on multiple occasions, showing Nettles his gun and bragging about a prior conviction for attacking a man with a pipe.
“Wicks was known to provoke fights on the corner. Nettles was peaceful. He’s a man who has led a good life,” Cueto said. “He found himself in a dangerous situation where he made poor choices.”
St. Clair Assistant State’s Attorney James Fuld, however, said Nettles is a “danger to society” based on the murder as well as a “half decade involvement with guns and drugs,” citing prior charges and convictions.
“He [Wicks] was on his way home to be with his wife, which is all he wanted to do. Instead of picking him up to go home, though, she was there to see him draw his last breath,” he said.
Fuld also said Nettles put others at risk since he attacked Wicks in a public place.
“He [Nettles] repeatedly fired his gun. He struck him [Wicks] with the gun and kicked his head as he lay dying on the ground,” Fuld said. “It was brutal and fatal and a danger to everyone else.”
Wicks said since her husband’s death, she has been psychologically, emotionally and financially burdened. Wicks said along with the cost of the burial and the loss of her husband’s income, bills have piled up in the past six months. She said she has barely been able to work even though she enjoys her job.
I lift his head up in my arms, I look down into his eyes and see blood coming out of his mouth. I knew he was gone.
Vicki Wicks, Edrick Wicks’ wife
“I have trouble sleeping, eating and socializing,” she said. “I’m up all night walking in circles. We were best friends. I lost a part of myself when I lost him.”
Edrick Wicks’ mother, Felicia Higgs, also addressed the court Monday. She said Wicks is her only son and leaves behind six children.
“All I want is justice for my son’s death,” she said.
About 20 of Nettles’ family members and friends were in the courtroom. Nettles’ mother, Janice Nettles, spoke during the sentencing, saying her son is a peaceful, quiet person who has a teenage daughter who depends on him.
Nettles himself spoke to the court as well. He addressed his own family members and Wicks’ family. At one point, he turned around to speak to his daughter directly.
“I apologize to my baby; I’m so sorry. I hope you can forgive me,” he said.
Nettles went on to say he thought at the time he was acting in self defense but now knows his “actions were excessive.”
After she issued the sentence, Judge Zina Cruse addressed Nettles.
“If I went to a place where someone threatened me, I would not go back. None of it is excusable,” she said.