EDWARDSVILLE — Officials in Madison County are using one man’s murder to set a tone for criminals coming from other parts of the region.
All fingers are pointed to St. Louis, and a few leading officials made it clear Tuesday that they’re tired of it.
“Madison County is now starting to feel the effects of being in such close proximity to one of the most dangerous cities in the United States,” Madison County Sheriff John Lakin said at a news conference Tuesday. “And what we have to understand here, this may sound familiar to some folks, is we can’t build a wall around Madison County and expect St. Louis to pay for it.”
That message came after two St. Louis County men were charged Tuesday with murder in the fatal shooting of a man this month near Glen Carbon.
The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis announced that Ralph J. Evans Jr., 29, of Pagedale, Missouri, and Julius D. Evans, 31, of Uplands Park, Missouri, had been charged in the murder of Tyrone A. Grady. Police said the accused men are brothers. Bail for both men is set at $2 million.
Grady, 45, was found shot to death around 8 p.m. on Feb. 11 in Chaparral Lane, a residential area just south of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
“Individuals from St. Louis came to Madison County,” said Madison County State’s Attorney Thomas Gibbons. “There’s no connection to Madison County other than the fact the crime occurred here.”
He echoed Lakin’s comments that “individuals from St. Louis are bringing violent crime to Madison County.”
Grady, the murder victim, also lived in St. Louis County, in the 10400 block of Melvich Drive in unincorporated Glasgow Village.
Grady was brought from St. Louis to Madison County before he was murdered, according to police. Charging documents say the two men fired multiple shots at Grady.
Police said Tuesday that the men knew each other, and that Grady’s killing was connected to the possible overdose death of Leanna McCurry, 32, who lived in the same block as Grady.
McCurry died shortly after police responded to the house at 4:40 a.m. Feb. 8. The connection to the death of Grady is not clear, but St. Louis County police said they’re investigating McCurry’s death as a “suspicious death and potential overdose.”
It wasn’t immediately clear how much of the most serious crimes in Madison County can be tied to people from Missouri, but authorities said it is an ongoing problem.
“We do have violent crime brought to Madison County by citizens of the city of St. Louis and surrounding areas,” Gibbons said. “Our drug epidemic is largely fueled by drugs coming from the city of St. Louis. ... We are seeing a pattern of crime being brought to our county not related to our county.”
Authorities said they would aggressively fight such crime and boasted of their conviction rate.
“The message that you should receive today is that if you come to Madison County, you will get Madison County justice,” Gibbons said.