Capers Sentenced To 60 Years For Killing Edwardsville Couple


EDWARDSVILLE — A man convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the killings of a prominent Edwardsville couple has received a 60-year prison sentence, Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine  announced Tuesday. 

Zachary I. Capers, 27, formerly of Collinsville, received the sentence Tuesday in connection with the  murders of the Edwardsville couple, Michael and Lois Ladd. 

“The Ladds meant so much to their family, their friends and their community,” Haine said. “There is no  sentence that could even begin to make up for the tremendous loss felt by the many loved ones of this  couple. But with this conviction, we at least have the assurance that this perpetrator will never again pose  a threat to our community.” 

Capers will be required to serve 100 percent of the sentence. 

Capers on Tuesday pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree murder. He had been charged with fatally stabbing the Ladds on March 17, 2019. 

The killings were discovered by someone who had gone to the Ladd residence on Kansas Street to check  on the couple. 

Capers was taken into custody on an unrelated, outstanding warrant on March 17, 2019, in the Staunton  area. Police had received reports of a suspicious motorist in the Staunton and Worden areas. Investigators  uncovered evidence linking Capers to the killings. 

Haine commended Edwardsville Police Department, which led the investigation, along with the Major  Case Squad of Greater St. Louis, Illinois State Police Crime Lab, Madison County Coroner’s Office, and  other law enforcement agencies that assisted in the investigation, arrest and prosecution. He also  commended Assistant State’s Attorney Lauren Maricle and Special Assistant State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe  of the Illinois State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor Office. 

“This was another textbook example of agencies working cooperatively, ensuring a successful resolution  to the case,” Haine said.

Capers has remained in custody since his arrest. At one point, a judge found that Capers was unfit to stand  trial. After receiving treatment at a secure Illinois Department of Human Services facility, Capers in  December was deemed fit to stand trial. 

“For the loved ones of Michael and Lois Ladd, this has been a long and difficult process, in part due to the  questions about the perpetrator’s fitness,” Haine said. “The Ladds’ family members and loved ones have  demonstrated tremendous stoicism. Our hope is that this resolution will allow them to begin to heal.” 

Capers entered a plea of guilty but mentally ill, which means he will be eligible for mental-health  treatment during his incarceration. The Illinois Department of Corrections has discretion on whether to  provide those services to such inmates. Regardless of whether he receives treatment, he will be required  to serve 60 years in the Department of Corrections. 

Michael Ladd was 79; Lois Ladd was 68.

Chris Rhodes
Author: Chris Rhodes

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