Cape Girardeau man found guilty of 2014 murder in southern Illinois



(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

By Staff report

A 30-year-old Cape Girardeau man was found guilty Thursday of first degree murder for fatally shooting a woman in southern Illinois in early 2014, the office of Jackson County State’s Attorney Michael Carr said.

A Jackson County jury returned a guilty verdict for Brandon L. Banks of first degree murder, three counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm and possession of weapon by a felon. He faces a sentence of natural life in prison, office said.

On Jan. 14, 2014, Jackson County deputies were called to Potters Road in Makanda after someone discovered the body of Marsha Brown, 40, of Cape Girardeau, in a grassy embankment on the side of the road, the State’s Attorney’s office said.


Police say Banks, Brown and two others traveled from Cape Girardeau to Carbondale to attend a party at a motel, during which Banks and Brown began to fight. Brown called Carbondale police to say “she was being held against her will, but did not know the name or location of the hotel,” the State’s Attorney’s office said. However, the call ended before police could determine her location, authorities say.

After Banks became suspicious that Brown called the police, he told the group to get in the car and leave town, though the two continued to fight in the car, the State’s Attorney’s office said. He then told the driver to stop the car on Potters Road in Makanda and demanded that everyone get out.

Banks then shot the 40-year-old woman in the face and fired at least two more shots into her body, the State’s Attorney’s office said. He told the group to get back in the car, leaving behind Brown’s body, which was found by a passerby the next morning, authorities said.

He was arrested in St. Louis two days after the shooing and has been in custody since. His sentencing hearing will be scheduled in roughly 60 days.’s news desk can be reached at 618-536-3326 or [email protected].

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