Lt. Kerry Andrews speaks about homicide charges
The husband of an O’Fallon woman who was burned to death Monday morning has been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated arson and battery by way of a flammable substance in her death.
Police announced the charges against Andrew Montez McKissick, 36, at a news conference at the O’Fallon Public Safety building Wednesday afternoon.
Bond has been set at $2 million. He is still being held in a Memphis, Tennessee, jail awaiting extradition to Illinois.
Sherry Billups, 35, was killed after being set on fire near the Family Sports Park in O’Fallon, just blocks away from her home in the 600 block of West Madison Street.
According to police, she was doused with a “diesel fuel supplement” then ignited. She exited her car, a black 2015 Kia Optima, covered in flames. Several bystanders attempted to assist, police said without specifics.
Billups’ husband, McKissick, was immediately considered a suspect and police told the public he was wanted for questioning. He was captured later that night by Memphis police.
McKissick had a criminal past, according to St. Clair County Circuit Court records. He’d been charged with unlawful restraint in 2010, aggravated battery causing harm to a police officer in 2007 and aggravated battery with a firearm in 2002. He was recently paroled and living with Billups when the incident occurred.
Police Chief Eric Van Hook said the department had been called to their residence for domestic issues on more than one occasion.
An account has been established in the names of Billups’ sons, Jaleel and Jaylyn Billups, at Regions Bank. Those interested in making donations to the accounts may do so at any Regions Bank location.
More than 20 citizens, mostly women who didn’t know Billups, met Tuesday evening at the Family Sports Park in a quiet vigil.
O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach spoke at Wednesday’s news conference to express his condolences on behalf of the city, to credit law enforcement for quickly bringing charges against McKissick and to thank the citizens who “put themselves in harm’s way” in an attempt to assist Billups.