MT. VERNON MAN SENTENCED TO 65 YEARS IN FIRST-DEGREE MURDER CASE

JEFFERSON COUNTY — A 19-year-old Mt. Vernon man was sentenced Thursday in Jefferson County court to 65 years in prison for the first-degree murder of 20-year-old Carlos Johnson in July 2017.

A Jefferson County jury found Roderick S. Oats Jr., guilty in August of shooting Johnson July 9, 2017, in the 700 block of South 25th Street in Mt. Vernon. He was taken to an area hospital where he later died from his wounds.

Oats was arrested later that same night in Benton, Illinois, on charges stemming from the shooting. He has remained jailed since that time.

Jefferson County State’s Attorney Sean Featherstun says Oats was sentenced to 40 years on the three first-degree murder charges against him with an additional 25-year enhancement for committing a crime with a firearm. He will have to serve 100 percent of the 65-year sentence.

Featherstun thanked Detective Justin Haney and the Mt. Vernon Police Department for their work on the Roderick case, and Assistant State’s Attorney Julie Kozuszek for trying the case with him.

Victims read their impact statements in court Thursday but Oats declined to address the court with a statement of allocution. He was facing a minimum of 45 years on each count and could have been sentenced up to life in prison.

“No judgment of guilt can bring Carlos Johnson back to a family that misses him dearly, but we are grateful for the Jury’s service and their verdict as it does bring justice and some measure of closure to Carlos’ family,” Featherstun commented.