EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – A man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of a Metro East officer last year.

Caleb Campbell, 24, of Florissant, Missouri, was found guilty of killing Brooklyn, Illinois, Police Officer Brian Pierce Jr. on Aug. 4, 2021.

Investigators say Pierce placed stop sticks on the McKinley Bridge to prevent a vehicle from fleeing the police. Prosecutors claim Campbell was driving the car when he hit and murdered Pierce.

“Officer Brian Pierce should be alive today,” said Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine. “We continue to pray for his family, who have suffered so much. We are glad the judge agreed that this was murder, plain and simple. I do hope the message continues to be heard: fleeing from the police is always wrong and dangerous, and if an officer dies, those responsible for killing the officer will face murder charges.”

Campbell’s bench trial began Monday morning. Testimony and evidence presented at court indicated Campbell was driving at speeds up to 98 mph before Pierce’s death. Dash-camera video from the pursuit showed Campbell speeding through intersections, ignoring traffic control devices, and cruising past other drivers stopped on the bridge.

Per court records, Campbell had a handgun in the vehicle and an active Missouri warrant for his arrest when he fled from police.

Assistant State’s Attorney Lauren Maricle argued in her closing remarks that Campbell “knew if he was stopped … he was going to jail.” She adds that Campebll showed an “utter lack of regard” for the safety of others.

A sentencing hearing for Campbell is scheduled for Jan. 23. He faces up to life in prison.