Mother of 2018 murder victim: ‘I don’t want anyone to forget his name.’

Robin Long waited over three years for the conviction of her son’s murderer.
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 10:52 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - “If anyone heard the story of what happened, you know he’s guilty,” says Robing Long. And on Tuesday, her three-and-a-half-year-wait was over.

“In reality it’s like a weight is being lifted off you and you can breath again.”

29-year-old Nickles Parks was found guilty of the December 2018 murder of Robin’s son Jamie Stephens

“Jamie was good, he was my baby,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to forget his name.”

Stephens’ body, riddled with 10 gunshot wounds, was found on the side of the road in rural Winnebago County. Parks was arrested about a month later.

When asked what Long would say to Parks right now, she replied “Nothing that I could say on TV.”

Stephens was last seen at the Mobil gas station at the intersection of 11th Street and Sandy Hollow Road in Rockford. Phone records and surveillance footage from nearby businesses led investigators to Parks.

“The Walgreens, the car lot, the Dairy Queen, the gas stations; they all have cameras and they all picked him up.”

The victim’s mother praises the work done by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office and her victim advocate for what she calls a job well done.

“I was happy, I was very emotional- long time coming,” she said.

While Long says the verdict brings closure, it still doesn’t bring back her son.

“The miss doesn’t go away,” said Long. “I will never be able to hold Jamie. I I will never be able to talk to him. I will never get my kiss and my ‘love you byes’. But he (Parks) does, he still gets that contact and I will never ever get that contact back.”

Parks faces up to 60 years in prison on the murder charge alone when he’s sentenced in April. Illinois law says he will have to serve 100 percent of that sentence.

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