View Full Version : Former Prison Guard Sentenced To Life

06-17-2002, 06:54 PM
Former prison guard pleads guilty to murder, is sentenced to life
By Trisha L. Howard
Of the Post-Dispatch
06/17/2002 11:04 AM

Ryan Parker, in a police mug shot
A man who spent his adult life building a career in law enforcement pleaded
guilty this morning to robbing and killing a Granite City florist, then
apologized to both the victim's family and his own family for the pain he had

Ryan Parker, 24, of Sparta, Ill., will spend the rest of his life in prison
without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty in Madison County
Circuit Court of killing Howard Edwin "Ed" Kirby Jr. of Collinsville on Jan.
5 at Kirby's floral shop.

Parker had faced the death penalty if convicted at trial.

As part of the agreement, Parker is set to plead guilty tomorrow in Randolph
County of killing Randa Clarkson, 39, of Sparta during a similar robbery.
Clarkson was working as a clerk at Main Street Video in Sparta when she was
shot to death.

In a brief statement in the courtroom, Parker offered no explanation for his
crimes, saying, "I don't have any."

Parker added: "My friends and family, I ask for your support. I'm sorry I
failed you."

Parker also apologized to his former colleagues in law enforcement. Parker,
who is the stepson of Sparta Police Chief Alan Young, had worked as a prison
guard for the Illinois Department of Corrections for about 19 months. He had
also worked part-time for the Randolph County Sheriff's Department and the
Okawville Police Department, leaving his job in Okawville shortly after
Clarkson was killed.

Michael Gerboc, Kirby's business and life partner, clutched a framed photo of
Kirby during the hearing. Afterwards, he and Kirby's family declined to

Madison County State's Attorney William R. Haine said his office had decided
to accept a plea that would keep Parker in prison for the rest of his life
because they believed it would permanently close the case.

Kirby's family "desired closure, and this is a penalty that you're sure of,"
Haine said. "There are no appeals from this sentence, so there is closure."

Madison County Public Defender John Rekowski said Parker decided to plead
guilty of the crimes because he is "truly remorseful."

"This was a way of ending the pain he had started for his family and for his
victim's family and friends," Rekowski said. "He feels he let a lot of people
down. These were aberrant incidents in his life. This is not how he lived his

06-18-2002, 02:36 AM
correct me if I'm wrong, but the article said he 'faced' the death penalty but then was sentenced to life. is this because he was a former prison guard? because I know stories of people who turned themselves in, after committing a murder, and still got sentenced to death....

If this man was capable of murdering, it makes me scared to know he worked as a prison guard

06-18-2002, 05:28 AM
This guy did receive the death penalty, he just doesn't know it yet. Cop, Prison guard, Gay, stepson of police cheif, this guy won't make 10 or 15 years, on a yard.

He didn't get the DP cause he made a plea bargain. A plea bargain can't be appealed. Saves the state money, the victims (I'm assuming they are going along with this) get to put this to rest (no years of trials, & appeals etc, etc.).

You'r probably right though, he got the choice, where as others don't get the choice, but more power to anyone who can beat the DP.--------Ken

06-18-2002, 10:04 AM

You are very right.... He really does have the DP..... Inmates will not allow him to stay safe unless they keep him in lock up all the time....

I really do hope he knows what he has done.... This is the type people that I have seen in most of the prison units... They have no respect for any human life, not only the inmates....