Crime

Fairview Heights teen sentenced to prison for shooting drug dealer during robbery

Police investigate scene of Fairview Heights apartment complex shooting

Police investigate the scene of a Fairview Heights apartment complex shooting that took place around 6:20 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7. A 21-year-old driver was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the head.
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Police investigate the scene of a Fairview Heights apartment complex shooting that took place around 6:20 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7. A 21-year-old driver was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the head.

A 16-year-old Fairview Heights teen was sentenced to 18 years in prison for robbing and shooting a drug dealer when he was 14.

Fairview Heights Police said Nemus Parks and another boy were buying drugs from a 21-year-old man on Feb. 7, 2017, when the two robbed him of drugs and cash. Police say Parks shot Daniel Meitzenheimer in the forehead while the man was sitting in his parked car at Longacre Ponds Luxury Apartments in Fairview Heights.

Meitzenheimer remained unconscious for several days, police reported in 2017. His current condition was not immediately available Tuesday.

Parks pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery with a firearm. Two other counts, attempted first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery, were dismissed in exchange for the plea. He will have to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.

The teen was arrested the day after the shooting and had been held at the St. Clair County Juvenile Center through sentencing. Parks will remain in juvenile justice facilities until he is 18 and will then be transferred to an adult Illinois Department of Corrections facility, Judge Robert Haida said.

Parks will receive credit for time already served.

Witnesses told police after the shooting that the two suspects removed Meitzenheimer from the vehicle and dragged him about 60 feet. A witness told police that she heard one of the suspects say "check his pockets" and saw the boys looking inside the vehicle.

Parks' co-defendant was charged as a juvenile and his name was not publicly released.

Mary Cooley: 618-239-2535, @MaryCooleyBND
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