Simmons jury pre-trial starts Thursday

By Gus Bode

A Carbondale man charged with involuntary manslaughter in the March 25 death of an SIUC senior will begin his jury pre-trial at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Jackson County Courthouse in Murphysboro.

Cory T. Simmons, 26, will stand trial for the death of Kendron M. Lacey, 25, 860 New Era Road, Apt. B. Simmons allegedly choked and killed Lacey at the home of Simmons’ girlfriend, Veronica Brooks, 820 W. Mill St., Apt. 313-B, in the early morning hours of March 25.

Carbondale Police reported an autopsy indicated Lacey suffered asphyxiation due to a chokehold. The Jackson County Coroner’s Office has yet to write the final autopsy report. An inquest to make an official statement about the cause of death will not be released until the final autopsy report has been written.


If convicted, Simmons would be sentenced to serve two to five years in prison with court supervision for one year and a maximum probation of 30 months.

Simmons had originally been charged with two counts of first-degree murder along with the involuntary manslaughter charge. However, Judge David. E. Watt found insufficient evidence to continue with the two murder counts at an April 16 preliminary hearing.

According to police testimony at the preliminary hearing, Lacey was sexually involved with Brooks, and Simmons found him in her residence at Mill Street Apartments. Carbondale Police Detective Christine Casner testified that Simmons confessed to choking Lacey until he went limp after he found him on top of Brooks at about 4:30 a.m.

Casner testified Brooks told investigators Simmons had left the residence at about 10:45 p.m. March 24 to go to work and she left the apartment to go out with friends. Brooks arrived back at her home at about 3 a.m.

Brooks reportedly told officers she left her door open to empty trash and noticed men’s clothing on her floor when she returned. She reportedly found Lacey in her bedroom. Simmons reportedly told officers he found Lacey and Brooks about to have sex in the bedroom, began yelling and choked Lacey from behind.

Brooks reportedly told officers she pulled an emergency string in the apartment complex and called 911. Police said Lacey was found dead in the bedroom upon arrival.

Reporter Burke Wasson can be reached at [email protected]