EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – A 31-year-old Highland, Illinois man admitted in court Wednesday to killing a Pontoon Beach police officer in October 2021 and was promptly sentenced to life in prison.

Officer Tyler Timmins was shot and killed in the line duty on the morning of Oct. 26, 2021. The shooting took place around 7:50 a.m. at the Speedway gas station near the intersection of Illinois 111 and Interstate 270.

Timmins arrived and approached a passenger in a suspected stolen vehicle. While Timmins was speaking with the passenger, the driver of the car, identified as Scott Hyden, came around back of the vehicle and shot Timmins in the face and neck.

Hyden, who was already on federal parole at the time, was arrested at the gas station. Timmins was airlifted to a St. Louis-area hospital but died a short time later. He was 36. Timmins was buried at Woodland Hill Cemetery in East Alton.

Scott Hyden
Scott Hyden

Hyden was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm at a peace officer, unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, unlawful possession of a stolen firearm, and one count of offenses relating to motor vehicles. He pleaded not guilty to those charges in November 2021.

“Justice for my husband was served today from this senseless act of violence,” said Officer Linsey Timmins, Tyler’s widow. “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.”

According to the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office, first-degree murder typically carries a sentence of 20 to 60 years, with an additional 25 years to life sentence with firearms-related enhancements. However, because Hyden killed Timmins while the latter was working in an official capacity as a police officer, the sentence was upgraded to a mandatory of life without parole.

Tyler Timmins had been a police officer in Madison County for 14 years, serving at several police departments.