Lamarc Garrett gave Associate Judge Randall Kelley a retirement gift: a good night's sleep.
Kelley will not lose any sleep over putting Garrett away for life after Garrett shot a man over a spilled beer and a racial slur.
The altercation outside a Sauget convenience store in 2015 started with Garrett asking for a beer. One accidentally spilled on his shoes, and then Oscar Carbajal called Garrett a racial slur. A fistfight you could understand, but Garrett pulled a .45 and put a bullet in Carbajal's chest from 18 inches away.
At the sentencing hearing, Carbajal's wife talked about his death leaving her aimlessly waiting for his return. She spoke of struggling to keep their daughter housed and fed.
Never miss a local story.
Garrett's mother spoke about her sweet child and his mental illness. Then she called across the courtroom to ask her son whether he had anything to say: "You don't want to say anything to the people?"
He looked at her. Then he said he'd already apologized.
If that wasn't enough insult for Carbajal's widow and child, Garrett's father blamed the victim for his own death. "He's not squeaky clean, either."
Carbajal had no criminal record in the St. Louis region. Before he ever got to that Sauget convenience store, Garrett had six felony convictions and was not allowed to have a gun.
Local law enforcement worried about crime from St. Louis might want to consider this case. All-night clubs in East St. Louis, strip clubs in Sauget, Centreville, Washington Park and Brooklyn. All-night liquor and lotto sales in Sauget and elsewhere.
St. Louis folks are drawn over here for specific reasons, and Sunday school is not one of them. If we take their money, we've got to accept there will also be costs.