Woman Sentenced for Killing Ex-Husband at Government Work Site After Custody Hearing

A 43-year-old woman in Illinois will most certainly spend the rest of her life in prison for killing her ex-husband by stabbing the state Transportation Department official only hours after the two appeared in court for a bitter child custody hearing.

A Jackson County court sentenced Alexis N. Stallman to 50 years in state prison for the murder of Edward A. Stallman in 2022, authorities stated.

According to the state attorney’s office, Stallman must serve the entire 50-year sentence.

“The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, from deputies to detectives, did everything right in this investigation,” Jackson County State’s Attorney Joseph A. Cervantez said in a statement released after the Jan. 17, 2024, sentencing hearing. “The Sheriff’s Office’s expertise and commitment to this investigation enabled me to do my job and prosecute this heinous crime. Our condolences go out to the victim’s family and friends.

In October 2023, Stallman filed an open Alford plea to one count of first-degree murder for her husband’s death. In exchange for pleading guilty to first-degree murder, prosecutors agreed to drop Stallman’s two further counts of murder and one count of domestic assault.

An Alford plea occurs when defendants maintain their innocence while conceding that the state has sufficient evidence to convict them at trial. An open plea indicates that the defendant has reached no agreement with prosecutors on the sentence they will suggest at the future sentencing hearing.

According to Law&Crime, at around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, deputies from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a crash at an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) work zone near the intersection of Highway 127 and Ava Road in Murphysboro.

When first responders got to the site, they discovered the victim still inside his vehicle. The deputies saw that Edward Stallman looked to have suffered a “puncture wound to his chest” that was not compatible with a car accident injury. Paramedics from the Jackson County Ambulance Service transported Edward to St. Joseph’s Memorial Hospital for treatment, but he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Investigators interviewed witnesses who reported that a lady — later identified as Stallman — arrived at the IDOT work site at 10:50 a.m. When she arrived, she and Edward Stallman were observed fighting verbally and physically. The two split and were seen heading their own ways. Edward Stallman got back into his car and started driving, but crashed immediately, prompting a 911 call.

Investigators initially suspected that Edward Stallman’s injuries were the result of a car accident. However, they continued to investigate the circumstances behind his injuries, which were caused by a “serious altercation” that occurred prior to his crash. It was swiftly confirmed that Edward Stallman’s injuries were the result of a stabbing, with officials focusing on his ex-wife as the most likely culprit.

Alexis Stallman’s automobile was abandoned at the scene, and officers discovered a bloody knife inside her handbag on the passenger side floorboard, according to prosecutors. The DNA test came back positive for Edward Stallman.

Alexis Stallman was arrested at her house the day after the stabbing without incident and has been detained ever since.

According to county court records, Edward Stallman filed petitions to dissolve his marriage to Alexis in August 2020. These documents also show that hours before the murder, Alexis and Edward Stallman attended their final pretrial meeting regarding custody of their young child. A judge had scheduled a hearing for July 28, 2022.

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