EDWARDSVILLE - Kaleb E Freeman, 24, of Carbondale entered a guilty plea Wednesday morning to one count of first-degree murder and was sentenced to 35 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons announced Freeman entered the plea in connection with a January 2017 fatal shooting that occurred in Collinsville.

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Gibbons said on Jan. 21, 2017, Collinsville Police responded to a report of shots fired outside an apartment building in the 800 block of South Morrison. They found the victim, 21-year-old Montrea L. Marshall, outside the apartment with an apparent gunshot wound. Marshall was transported to Anderson Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

During the course of the investigation, which was handled by the Major Case Squad who were called to assist by the Collinsville Police Department, it was discovered that Marshall and Freeman, who were acquaintances, had agreed to meet at the apartment in Collinsville. Shortly after Freeman arrived, the two men got into an argument that escalated into the violent confrontation.

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Witnesses provided a description of the suspect, the vehicle, and the direction of travel which assisted in the investigation. Investigators determined that Freeman shot Marshall in the chest before fleeing in a 2011 white Chevy Cruze. With the aid of the U.S. Marshalls Service, Carbondale Police Department, and the Major Case Squad investigators, Freeman was located in Carbondale, Illinois and taken into custody.

“The violent, senseless actions of this defendant ended in the worst way, with a young man tragically losing his life. I am hopeful that this conviction provides his family with some comfort and closure during this tragic chapter in their lives,” said State’s Attorney Gibbons.

Gibbons commended the work of the Major Case Squad and his prosecutors, Assistant State’s Attorneys Kerri Davis and Katie Warren, for a successful resolution to the case. He also thanked the Coroner’s Office, Collinsville Police Department, U.S. Marshalls Service, and the Carbondale Police Department for responding to the scene and assisting with apprehending Freeman after the shooting.

“This quick response by local law enforcement shows that this type of violence will not be tolerated in our neighborhoods.”

Circuit Judge Kyle Napp accepted a guilty plea from Freeman for one count of first-degree murder. In exchange for his guilty plea, Freeman was sentenced to 35 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Freeman will be required to serve 100 percent of his sentence.

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