Murder charges filed in Belleville man’s death

James Jennings

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office charged a 25-year-old Alorton man in connection with the death of another man whose body was discovered earlier this week in Belleville.

According to police, a passerby found a man’s body in the street near the intersection of Bornman and West Monroe streets around 9 p.m. on November 20. Police have not identified the man, pending notification of family members.

A witness came to Belleville police and told investigators of a fight that led to the man’s death.

Police determined the victim met two people at a local fast food restaurant on November 20 and asked to buy marijuana from one of them. The three then walked to a nearby park to complete the transaction. The victim determined the marijuana was fake and got into a verbal altercation with the suspects.

The victim left the park and was near Bornman and West Monroe when he was confronted by the suspects. One of the suspects punched the victim in the head and the victim fell to the ground.

The suspect and a second person went through the victim’s pockets and fled the scene.

The man’s body was discovered a short time later.

Deputies with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department apprehended 25-year-old James Jennings at the Emerson Park MetroLink station just hours later.

Jennings was charged with one count of first-degree murder. His bond was set at $500,000.

A second individual was also arrested in connection with the case but hasn’t been charged. That person remains in custody at St. Clair County Jail on an unrelated matter.