Gibbons seeks review of multiple homicides for potential federal death penalty

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons has requested the review of three recent deadly cases that would allow for the federal death penalty to be imposed.

The cases involve a near three-week spree in December and January that includes the killing of noted attorney Randy Gori, a three-person homicide in Bethalto and a shooting in Granite City.

While the state of Illinois does not have the death penalty available for its most horrific crimes, the Federal First Degree Murder Statute (18 U.S. Code § 1111) allows for perpetrators found guilty of first degree murder to be punished by death.

In all three cases, the offenders have traveled across state lines to allegedly execute their victims. All three cases have occurred in Madison County within the past 20 days.

Defendants Brady Witcher and Brittany McMillan allegedly traveled to Birmingham, Ala., where they kidnapped and murdered a woman on Dec. 13, 2019. On Dec. 19, they allegedly shot and killed three victims — Shari Yates, Andrew Brooks, John McMillian—in a Bethalto home and fled to Hazelwood, Mo., where they were arrested.

On Jan. 4, defendant Timothy Banowetz traveled from Missouri to the Edwardsville home of Gori. He is accused of forcefully restrained and threatened Randy Gori and two minors using a deadly weapon before ultimately stabbing Gori to death.

Four days later on Jan. 8, defendants Kadeem Noland and Christine Mills allegedly traveled from St. Louis and entered the Granite City home of victim Jason Thomas. When Thomas returned to his residence, he was shot to death by the defendants who then fled back to St. Louis.

In a statement, Gibbons said, “I am seeking the review of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring the most severe cases justice. When violent offenders come from out-of-state to commit crimes in our county, the highest sentence they will receive is life in prison. By requesting the resources of the federal government, it is my purpose to seek the ultimate justice for these victims and their families. I want to ensure the safety of the Citizens of Madison County from the criminals traveling to our communities.”

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