Crime

Man sentenced to 80 years in prison for 2017 Madison County murder

Violent and property crime stats for Illinois

According to data from the FBI, property and violent crimes continue to decrease in Illinois, though the violent crime's are still slightly higher than the national average.
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According to data from the FBI, property and violent crimes continue to decrease in Illinois, though the violent crime's are still slightly higher than the national average.

A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to prison for the shooting death of Robert L. “Monte” Gilmore in 2017.

Kevin D. Gardner will have to serve 80 years in prison for the crime, a news release from the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office stated Wednesday. Earlier this year, a jury found Gardner guilty of first-degree murder, rejecting his claim that he acted in self defense.

On Nov. 13, 2017, Gilmore, 41, was found dead in his car on a residential neighborhood in Madison. The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis began an investigation and charged Gardner, as well as Dominic D. Harris and Eric J. Mason, Jr., on Nov. 17. Gardner wasn’t arrested until Nov. 28.

During his week-long trial, prosecutors showed that Gardner had shot at Gilmore at least six times while Gilmore was driving, the release stated.

First-degree murder in Illinois typically carries a penalty range of 20 to 60 years in prison, but since the jury also found that Gardner personally discharged a firearm that proximately caused death to Gilmore, Gardner was required to have an additional 25 years to life added to his sentence, the release stated. He is required to serve 100 percent of the term.

Circuit Judge Kyle Napp described the murder as “cold-blooded” and said Gardner was the “poster child” for why the firearm enhancement was proper under the circumstances. According to the release, during the almost two-hour sentencing hearing, several letters were read on behalf of Gilmore’s family, expressing sorrow for their loss and gratitude to the investigators who worked the case.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.
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