Man Arrested And Charged With Murder After Body Found In Alton Woods

Edwardsville, IL — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine and Alton Police Chief Jarrett Ford announced Friday that a 44-year-old Missouri man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of a man whose body was discovered in a wooded area of Alton. 

Antonio M. Baker, 44, of Ferguson, Mo., was charged Friday in the death of 34-year-old Andre T. Hawkins of Maryland Heights, Mo. 

Alton Police took Baker into custody Thursday night in Missouri, less than 48 hours after the discovery of the victim’s body. A municipal worker discovered the body of Hawkins shortly after noon Wednesday in a  wooded area along Lincoln Avenue. Hawkins suffered numerous gunshots. 

Baker was being held Friday afternoon at the St. Louis County Jail, pending extradition to Madison County. Haine’s office has filed a petition to deny pretrial release for the defendant. Circuit Judge Kyle Napp ordered that Baker be held pending a hearing on the detention petition. 

Haine said he expects the evidence at trial will show the killing was not a random attack, but rather the result of a dispute that happened in Missouri. 

“Why this occurred in Alton is unknown,” Haine said. “All parties involved were residents of Missouri. But choosing to bring any violence to our streets is a very poor decision. In Madison County, we take violent crime very seriously, and will aggressively prosecute this heinous act. Our law enforcement agencies and  the State’s Attorney’s Office are working hard to keep our neighborhoods safe and to secure justice for  victims when crimes do occur, wherever those victims are from.” 

Haine commended Alton Police and other law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation, along with Assistant State’s Attorney Luke Yager and other prosecutors assigned to the Violent Crimes Unit at the State’s Attorney’s Office. 

Ford thanked multiple agencies that collaborated with Alton Police in the investigation: St. Louis County  Police Department, St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office, Illinois State Police, Madison County Coroner’s  Office, Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and  Explosives (ATF). 

“I am incredibly proud of my detectives involved in this investigation. They prove time and time again why committing a violent crime in Alton is a bad decision. They don’t stop until the job is done,” Ford said.

Both Ford and Haine offered condolences to the family and loved ones of the victim. 

“Our condolences go out to Andre’s family and friends,” Ford said. “I hope that Andre’s family and  friends find comfort in knowing that the Alton Police Department and the many agencies involved in this  investigation have worked tirelessly to seek justice for Andre.”

Chris Rhodes
Author: Chris Rhodes

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