Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine announced that this afternoon Scott T. Hyden, 31, of Highland, IL, pled guilty to one count of first degree murder for the October 2021 killing of Officer Tyler Timmins.
“This was a brutal murder of a hero who dedicated his life to serve and protect us all,” Haine said. “Now at least the justice system has ensured that Officer Tyler Timmins’s murderer will spend the rest of his life in prison. That is some consolation, though nothing can ever bring Tyler back to his incredible family. They will continue to be in our prayers.”
Officer Linsey Timmins gave a powerful victim impact statement at this afternoons plea hearing, which was attended by dozens of local police officers and many other family members. “Justice for my husband was served today from this senseless act of violence,” Linsey Simmons stated. “The outcome of the court hearing does not change what Hyden took from my family and me, but we are grateful that Hyden will never be able to harm another person for the rest of his life.”
Chief Chris Modrusic also made the following statement: “The murder of Officer Tyler Timmins has impacted our police department beyond words. We will never be the same. Today justice was served, but it does not take away the pain our department has felt from this senseless act. Now that the case is closed, we can begin the healing process. We will continue to put on our uniforms everyday to serve and protect, as Officer Timmins would have wanted us to do. On behalf of every member of the Pontoon Beach Police Department, I would like to thank everyone involved in bringing justice for Officer Timmins.”
On the morning of October 26, 2021, Officer Tyler Timmins of the Pontoon Beach Police Department responded to the Speedway Gas Station to investigate a license plate reader (LPR) hit on a stolen vehicle. Shortly after he arrived at the gas station, he made contact with the passenger of that vehicle. The Defendant, who was the driver and on federal parole at the time, came around the back of the vehicle and shot Officer Timmins in the face/neck. He was taken to a local hospital and passed away shortly after as a result of the injury.
State’s Attorney Haine also thanked the dedicated work of Assistant State’s Attorney Luke Yager on this case, as well as the many law enforcement agencies who assisted this tragic case. This includes Pontoon Beach Police Department, but also Granite City Police Department, which went above and beyond to assist its sister-station in its time of need with resources and support, as did the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. Many other local police departments and agencies such as Illinois State Police also assisted and provided invaluable support.
“If there is any silver lining to this horrible loss for all of us, it is that the law enforcement community of Madison County will always be united and inspired by the heroism and sacrifice of Officer Timmins,” Haine stated.
The first degree murder charge is a Class M felony, and the sentencing range is 20-60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), with an addition 25 years to life sentence with the potential firearms enhancement. In this case, because the defendant murdered a police officer performing his official duties, it was mandatory life. Additional to this life sentence, and pursuant to the Guilty plea, the firearms enhancement was applied at 25 years, though that is functionally irrelevant because the defendant will now spend the rest of his life in prison either way.