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Man sentenced to 125 years in prison for murder of his ex-girlfriend

Ernie Sykes, 56, was sentenced Monday, about three months after a jury found him guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend
Credit: Madison County State's Attorney

ALTON, Ill. — A man found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend was sentenced to 125 years in prison Monday.

Ernie Sykes, 56, was sentenced Monday, about three months after he was found guilty of killing 31-year-old Angel Syddall and attempted murder of 26-year-old Daniel Ferrel.

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Police in Alton were called to a home on Edwards Street in the early morning hours of Nov. 21, 2018. When they arrived, they found a 26-year-old man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He told police Syddall was inside the house suffering from gunshot wounds as well.

When officers found her, she was suffering from seven gunshot wounds. She was rushed to the hospital but died from her injuries.

During the trial, family members of both the victim and the shooter testified. Syddall's mother told the jury Sykes told her that she would need to get a black dress. Sykes' own daughter then testified, telling jurors what he did to the victim, according to a news release at the time of Sykes' conviction.

He was found guilty of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. The minimum sentence for his crimes was 45 years in prison.

In a sentencing hearing Monday, Sykes claimed evidence was falsified and that he was the victim.

In a victim impact statement at the hearing, Syddall's mother said "She was the light of my life, the joy of my heart. She was my only child, my only family.”

“It was heartbreaking to hear Angel’s Mom and friends talk about what a wonderful person she was and how great a loss they have all suffered as a result of the monstrous violence committed by the defendant," State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said in a news release. "His depraved acts are a reminder to all of us of the devastating and violent impact of domestic violence.”

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