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Man convicted of 2017 quadruple homicide in Glasgow Village



Man convicted of 2017 quadruple homicide in Glasgow Village

ST. LOUIS COUNTY – A St. Louis County jury convicted 24-year-old Ja’Vonne Dupree of four counts of Murder 1st Degree and numerous other counts of felony charges just before midnight on Friday, October 8. The conviction came after four days of evidence and arguments and deliberating almost to midnight.

First-degree murder carries the mandatory penalty of life in prison without eligibility of parole.

These crimes were committed by Dupree on August 24, 2017 in Glasgow Village. The incident was investigated by the St. Louis County Police Department.

Dupree was arrested and charged in December of 2017.

The jury decided that the defendant shot and killed each of the victims, robbed the victims of electronics and clothing, picked up multiple shell casings, and fled the murder scene in one of the victims’ car with the stolen items.

The victims were 18-year-old Deandre Kelley, 56-year-old Patricia Steward, her 20-year-old son Joseph Corley and her 10-year-old adopted son Terrance DeHart.

Family members of the victims testified that Dupree was a homeless youth who was taken in by the family’s matriarch. This family member was a hip-hop producer who worked with Dupree as a rapper. The murders and other crimes were committed after being put out of the family home by one of the victims.

“The unimaginable suffering of an amazing and loving family does not end with these guilty verdicts, but at least they know that justice has been served and that they were intimately involved in the success of this investigation and prosecution,” said St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. “This family, our dedicated trial team, meticulous police detectives and a fair and reasonable jury worked late into the night for a guilty verdict, in the second of two separate murder trials on Friday, that brought justice and hopefully closure to both families.”

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How the Supreme Court’s decision could affect Missouri abortion laws



How the Supreme Court’s decision could affect Missouri abortion laws

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules, abortions could be illegal in the state of Missouri.

Dozens gathered outside of the Missouri Supreme Court building Wednesday to pray for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Currently, a woman in Missouri can have an abortion up to 22 weeks, but depending on the outcome in Washington D.C., that could change.

“The fact that we are all here today shows the pro-choice movement that we are not remaining silent on this issue, nor will we remain silent as the Supreme Court continues their deliberations on this case,” Missouri and Arkansas Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America Lucy Gonzalez said.

While the battle over Mississippi’s abortion law is in the nation’s spotlight, which would ban abortions after 15 weeks, the overall decision could affect the Show-Me State.

“It’s literally crossing our fingers and hoping that the willfully, like sub-standard, reality that we’ve been living, especially here in Missouri, that the system perseveres,” chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis region and Southwest Missouri Dr. Colleen McNicholas said Wednesday.

McNicholas said already, clinics in Illinois are seeing an increase in patients following Texas’ new law which bans abortions after six weeks, making it the most restrictive state in the country for abortions.

“We are seeing patients get in the car at 2 a.m. in the morning and drive nine hours for me to hand them a pull to get back in the car and drive nine hours back because that is literally the only day they can access abortion,” McNicholas said.

Back in 2019, the General Assembly passed a bill banning abortions in Missouri after eight weeks, the law not allowing exemptions for rape or incest survivors or if the mother receives a prenatal Down Syndrome diagnosis. A day before it was set to go into effect, a federal judge blocked the measure, and it has been an ongoing legal fight since.

“Could Missouri be the next state to join Texas with an abortion ban so early most folks don’t even know that they are pregnant, absolutely we could” McNicholas said. “With a situation where we have one remaining abortion facility in the state, we’re talking about folks traveling hundreds of miles, multiple times to be able to access that reproductive healthcare.”

Planned Parenthood in the Central West End in St. Louis is Missouri’s only abortion clinic. The Show-Me State is one of five states across the country that only has one clinic.

Depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules, it could lead to abortion becoming illegal in the state of Missouri.

Over the summer, Attorney General Eric Schmitt joined nearly two dozen other attorneys general in filing a brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and return abortion regulation to the states.

Those in attendance Wednesday hope by overturning Roe, the doors in St. Louis will close as well.

“It is time that our laws catch up to the 21-century,” Western Regional Director for Students for Life of America Reagan Barkledge said. “Dobbs v. Jackson is our chance to finally re-examine and chip away at Roe v. Wade.”

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft also spoke at the rally.

“The Supreme Court may decide what is constitutional and what is not, they do not decide what is moral and what is right and what is just,” Ashcroft said.

Under the Missouri law passed back in 2019, physicians who perform abortions after eight weeks could face anywhere from five to 15 years in prison but the woman who made the decision to have the abortion would not be charged. Anyone who participates in an abortion after the knowledge of a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis could be charged with civil penalties, which could include the loss of a medical license.

At present in Missouri, a woman can have an abortion up to 22 weeks. The number of abortions in Missouri per year has decreased significantly over the years in the past decade. According to the Department of Health and Senior Services, the state recorded 6,163 abortions in 2010, but only 46 in 2020.

Here is the list of abortions per year in the last decade:

2010 – 6,163
2011 – 5,772
2012 – 5,624
2013 – 5,416
2014 – 5,060
2015 – 4,765
2016 – 4,562
2017 – 3,903
2018 – 2,911
2019 – 1,368
2020 – 46

As for Missouri’s law that’s in the federal court of appeals, which was heard by all 11 members back in September, a rare move, there is no timeline on when a decision could be made.

The country’s highest court is most likely months away from deciding on the ruling.

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Proposed bill would return control of St. Louis Police to state



St. Louis City police to enforce curfew violations for juveniles

ST. LOUIS – A Missouri State representative has proposed a bill that would return the control of the City of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department back to the Board of Commissioners.

State Representative Nick Schroer pre-filed the bill on December 1 for the 2022 legislative session.

The bill says, “On or after July 1, 2023, the board of police commissioners shall assume control of any municipal police force established within any city not within a county…” reached out to St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones’ office. A spokesperson said they do not comment on bills that have only been pre-filed.

State Rep. Schroer represents St. Charles County. Earlier this year, Schroer and other lawmakers took part in a press conference asking Gov. Mike Parson to call for a special session to discuss public safety and concerns over how police departments were being funded.

Schroer said that if the St. Louis City and its prosecutor do not get serious about arresting criminals and prosecuting cases he would push for the state to take back local control.

In 2013, St. Louis City gained local control of the police department. Missouri voters approved the plan.

Before local control, the chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department reported to the board of police commissioners. That board approves policies and purchases for the department. 

Until 2013, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department had been under state control dating back to the civil war era.

The state of Missouri took over control of the St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri police departments in 1861.  This happened often in Border States at the start of the Civil War.  Supporters of the southern Confederate states were concerned the departments` vast arsenals and easy access to river traffic would be used by the northern Union army.  After the war, local control was returned to every other city in the country except St. Louis and Kansas City.

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Man charged in 12 armed robberies across St. Louis area



Missouri boy killed while on hayride Saturday night

ST. LOUIS — Federal authorities filed charges Wednesday against a 58-year-old man who allegedly robbed several businesses at gunpoint throughout the St. Louis area.

James Mayes is accused of committing 12 armed robberies over the past two weeks in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Missouri said Mayes also robbed a person at gunpoint near the Gateway Arch, a federal jurisdiction, on Oct. 13 and another person the following day on Laclede’s Landing.

Here are the dates and locations of the robberies, according to prosecutors:

  • Oct. 13 – Gateway National Arch Park (street robbery)
  • Oct.14 – Laclede’s Landing (street robbery)
  • Oct. 17 – T-Mobile at 4142 S. Grand
  • Oct. 20 – Smoothie King at 1211 Pine
  • Oct. 23 – Kaiser Mart at 5008 S. Grand
  • Oct. 25 – Metro PCS at 6731 Page
  • Oct. 26 – Crown Food Mart at 300 S. Jefferson
  • Nov. 3 – Gallery Furniture/Home Accents at 310 N. Sixth St.
  • Nov. 3 – Boost Mobile at 1644 S. Jefferson
  • Nov. 3 – Domino’s Pizza at 1428 N. 13th
  • Nov. 5 – Vapes and Snacks at 8820 Gravois Rd
  • Nov. 10 – Cricket Wireless at 1084 Lemay Ferry Rd.

The case was investigated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis County Police
Department, Pagedale Police Department, the FBI, and the Federal Park Service.

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