A southwestern Illinois man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty but mentally ill in the 2019 stabbing deaths of an Edwardsville couple.
An associate Madison County judge accepted Zachary Capers’ guilty plea to one count of first-degree murder on Tuesday, immediately after finding him fit to stand trial following mental-health treatment.
Capers, 27, was then sentenced to a 60-year prison term. The Collinsville man’s plea agreement calls for him to serve 100% of that sentence, with credit for four years served, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. Three counts of first-degree murder that Capers had faced were dismissed under his plea deal.
Capers was indicted in April 2019 in the killings of 68-year-old Lois Ladd, a chiropractor, and her husband, 79-year-old Michael Ladd, a contractor. Their bodies were found in March 2019 in their home in Edwardsville, about 20 miles northeast of St. Louis.
Both had been stabbed to death.
Nearly 40 of the couple’s friends and relatives attended Tuesday’s hearing, including Michael Ladd’s sister, Dodie Ladd Levi.
She said after the hearing that she would be on “pins and needles” for 30 days because Capers could withdraw his guilty plea during that time. But she said that otherwise she felt justice had been done “as much as could be expected.”