Woman who killed ex-husband at hours after contentious custody hearing learns her fate


Alexis Stallman via the Jackson County State Attorney's Office

Alexis N. Stallman (Jackson County State Attorney’s Office)

A 43-year-old woman in Illinois will likely spend the rest of her life behind bars for killing her ex-husband, fatally stabbing the state Transportation Department employee just hours after the two had appeared in court for a contentious child custody hearing. A Jackson County judge sentenced Alexis N. Stallman to serve 50 years in a state correctional facility for the 2022 slaying of Edward A. Stallman, authorities announced.

According to the state’s attorney’s office, Stallman must serve 100% of her 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 following the Jan. 17, 2024, sentencing hearing. “The Sheriff’s Office’s experience and dedication to this investigation allowed me to do my job and prosecute this senseless crime. Our sympathy goes out to the victim’s family and friends.”

Stallman entered an open Alford plea in October 2023 to one count of first-degree murder in her husband’s death. In exchange for pleading to the first-degree murder charge, prosecutors agreed to drop the two additional counts of murder and one count of domestic battery Stallman had been facing.

An Alford plea is when defendants maintain their innocence but concede that the state has enough evidence to convict them at trial. An open plea means the defendant has no agreement with prosecutors regarding the punishment they will recommend at the subsequent sentencing hearing.

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

When first responders arrived on the scene, they found the victim still sitting inside of his vehicle. The deputies saw that Edward Stallman appeared to have sustained a “puncture wound to his chest” that was not consistent with a vehicular crash injury. Paramedics with the Jackson County Ambulance Service rushed Edward to St. Joseph’s Memorial Hospital for treatment, but he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the facility.

Investigators interviewed witnesses who told them that a woman — later identified as Stallman — came to the IDOT work site at approximately 10:50 a.m. Once there, she and Edward Stallman were seen getting into a verbal and physical altercation. The two separated, and each was seen going their separate ways. Edward Stallman got back into his car and began to drive but quickly crashed, resulting in the 911 call.

Investigators initially thought that Edward Stallman’s injuries were related to the traffic crash. But they continued looking into the circumstances of his injuries due to the “serious altercation” that took place before his crash. It was quickly determined that Edward Stallman’s injuries were the result of being stabbed, with authorities homing in on his ex-wife as the most likely suspect.

Alexis Stallman’s car was left at the scene, and police said they found a bloody knife inside her purse, which was on the passenger-side floorboard, prosecutors said. The DNA came back positive for Edward Stallman.

Alexis Stallman was taken into custody at her home the day after the stabbing without incident and has been incarcerated ever since.

According to county court records, Edward Stallman filed documents seeking to dissolve his marriage to Alexis in August 2020. Those records further show that hours before the murder, both Alexis and Edward Stallman appeared for their final pretrial conference concerning custody of their young child. A judge had scheduled a hearing on July 28, 2022.

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