Updated: Mar 31
Jamie Stephens, 31
Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois
December 7, 2018
Two days before Jamie’s thirty-first birthday, on December 7, 2018 he was supposed to go pick something up at the Mobil gas station on Sandy Hollow near 11th Street in Rockford, Illinois. He was never heard from again and a missing person’s report was made.
December 10, 2018, one day after his thirty-first birthday, Jamie’s frozen body was found on the 9200 block of Knapp Road in Winnebago County, Illinois off the road in a line of trees near the Edwards Apple Orchard West. It is believed Jamie’s body was intentionally dumped there.
Autopsy confirmed Jamie died of multiple gunshot wounds.
It was reported that he suffered two gunshot wounds to his side. Rockford Register Star reported that Parks admitted to picking Jamie from a store. Video shows Jamie entering Parks vehicle. The vehicle, the Chrysler 300 was reported to be that of Nickles T Parks, and later that vehicle was located in someone else's garage. Human blood was found in the car and five holes believed to have been bullet holes in the vehicle.
The Rockford Register also reported that the evidence that a man asked Parks to help recover stolen jewelry from Jamie. Jamie was dating a woman whose roommate reported her necklace and ring stolen. Parks took this other man along “for protection” when he sought to retrieve those items from Stephens.
It was reported that one of the suspects allegedly planned on recovering stolen jewelry from Jamie. He was dating a women whose roommate reported her necklace and ring stolen, and two of the suspects went to look for Jamie in order to retrieve it. All three suspects are being tried separately.
Joshua J Whittie, age 19 was charged with First Degree Murder, later to plead not guilty. Whittie was also shot while trying to buy drugs in a different crime. He was taken to Mercy Health Hospital on Rockton Avenue on December 7 when the police were notified of a GSW. Whittie was then charged on several warrants after he was treated.
Case Number 2019CF0000678 agreed to a plea deal on one charge of Armed Robbery / No firearm, receiving a 20 year sentence (which is 50% to be served) minus the 709 day credit for time served at the jail.
Nickles T Parks, 26 years old was also charged with First Degree Murder, Armed Robbery, Concealment of a Homicide. Parks also pleaded not guilty. He allegedly shot Jamie multiple times during a robbery of his cell phone. Bond was set at $2 Million.
Case Number 2019CF0000211 Parks was found guilty on March 30, 2022 for his roll in the murder of James Stephens. His sentencing phase is next, as the next court date is set for April 11th 2022 at the Winnebago County Courthouse.
State Attorney Press Release:
Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley announces that Nickles Parks (DOB: 04/22/1992) has been found guilty of the offense of First Degree Murder and Concealment of a Homicidal Death on March 29, 2022 after a jury trial in front of the Honorable Judge Ronald White. On December 10, 2018 Deputies with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department responded to the 9200 block of Knapp Road, Winnebago, Illinois where they located the deceased body of Jamie Stephens (DOB: 12/09/1987) in a ditch off the roadway. Detectives assigned to the case determined that Nickles Parks was one of the last to have contact with Jamie Stephens. Officers located a 2011 Chrysler 300 that belonged to Nickles Parks hidden in a garage in Rockford, Illinois. After a thorough examination of the vehicle, it was discovered that on December 07, 2018, Jamie Stephens died in that vehicle after having suffered multiple gunshot wounds. It was also discovered that Nickles Parks and Joshua Whittie were the other two occupants of the Chrysler at the time Jamie was shot to death. Joshua Whittie (01/02/2000) had previously plead guilty to the offense of Armed Robbery in connection with the death of Jamie Stephens. He is currently serving a 20 year sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections on that charge. First Degree Murder is a Class M Felony punishable by 20-60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. An additional fifteen (15) years is added onto any sentence imposed based on the defendant possessing a firearm. Any sentence to the Department of Corrections is to be served at 100% and will be followed by 3 years of Mandatory Supervised Release. Concealment of a Homicidal Death is a Class 3 Felony punishable by 2-5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and is to be served at 50% consecutive to the murder conviction. The case is set for a status hearing on April 11, 2022 at 8:30 in Courtroom 316. The case was investigated by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department and the prosecution was handled by Assistant State’s Attorney Amy Ohtani and First Assistant State’s Attorney Kenneth Larue.
We would like to thank the law enforcement agents who participated in searching for Jamie, bringing him home to his family, investigation his disappearance and death, and all those who brought some justice for Jamie and his family. Our hearts go out to Jamie's family and all those who know and love him. May he rest in peace.
The Rockford Register
The Winnebago Courthouse records