Crime

‘Extremely disturbing act’: ESL man charged with fatally stabbing Swansea woman, wounding 9-year-old boy

Charges issued in Swansea murder

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly announced the charges against Alvin Harris Jr., 38, of 1712 McCasland Ave. in connection with the fatal stabbing Saturday evening of Sharetta Day.
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St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly announced the charges against Alvin Harris Jr., 38, of 1712 McCasland Ave. in connection with the fatal stabbing Saturday evening of Sharetta Day.

St. Clair County prosecutors on Monday issued charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder against an East St. Louis man accused of stabbing to death a Swansea woman and attacking her young son.

Read the latest on this story here.

St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Brendan Kelly announced the charges against Alvin Harris Jr., 38, of 1712 McCasland Ave. in connection with the fatal stabbing Saturday evening of Sharetta Day (see previous story).

Harris also was charged with aggravated battery of a child.

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Day, 38, was found lying on the ground of the parking lot of her apartment complex. She had multiple stab wounds from a knife.

Day’s 9-year-old son witnessed his mother’s attack and was stabbed three times, including once in the neck, according to police. When police arrived about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the boy told them his mother’s boyfriend stabbed him.

Kelly called the crime an “extremely disturbing act” that resulted when Day attempted to end the relationship with Harris. He is accused of stabbing Day “multiple times,” according to the charging documents.

“This defendant intended to try to take the life of a young child” as well, Kelly said..

At a press conference Monday afternoon to announce the charges, Kelly said the “only good news” is that this is not a double-murder. “By some miracle, the young man who is now in the hospital who was the victim of an attempted murder survived and is recovering,” he said.

Kelly asked the community to pray for the child who is recovering from his physical injuries but will be “dealing with this for the rest of his life. This child who has seen and been an unwilling participant in a very horrible crime,” he said. “He’s going to have to live with that for a long, long time, but we can be thankful that he’s at least going to live.”

The boy, whose name was not released by police, is recovering at a St. Louis-area hospital. “He seems to be physically doing a little better,” Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson said.

The 9-year-old underwent surgery over the weekend, police said.

On Monday, candles, balloons and pictures crowded the front door to the apartment at 270 Marcella Drive, where Day lived with her son. Messages were left for Day on a poster: “Love you Sharetta, you will always be in my heart” and “I wish I could have seen you one more time.”

An autopsy on Day was performed Monday by the St. Clair County Coroner’s Office. Kelly said no information would be released regarding the findings of the autopsy.

Harris is being held in the St. Clair County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond. If convicted, he faces between 26 to 90 years in prison, Kelly said.

Harris has two prior drug felony convictions. He was convicted in 2012 of delivering a small amount of cocaine and served three years in prison.

In addition to his criminal history in the metro-east, Harris was convicted on charges of assault and unlawful use of a weapon in 2006 when he lived in Florissant, Mo., St. Louis County court records showed.

There is also a pending electronic harassing charge against Harris, which pertains to another female, not Day, according to Kelly.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at jforsythe1@bnd.com or 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter: @BND_JForsythe.

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