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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Sentence handed down in murder of Belleville grandmother

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 04:44 Published in Local News

   A Belleville woman will spend 60 years in prison for her role in the 2011 kidnapping and murder of an 85 year old grandmother as she left a Collinsville bingo game.  

   That was the sentence handed down to 40 year old LaTosha Cunningham Tuesday.  Prosecutors call her the ringleader in the murder of Yoko Cullen.  

   Authorities say Cullen was forced into the trunk of her own car, beaten with a tire iron and then burned alive.  

   Last month, 21 year old DaQuan Barnes was sentenced to 60-years without parole for the killing.  

   A third suspect, 30 year old Demarcus Barnes was found mentally unfit to stand trial. 

 

Fingers pointing after STL Co. releases federal prisoner

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 04:39 Published in Local News

   A federal prisoner is back behind bars after mistakenly being released by St. Louis County authorities.  But it's still unclear who's responsible for the error.

   Twenty-nine-year-old Shawn Grider was on his way to federal prison to begin a decade-long sentence on drug and weapons violations, when he was brought to the St. Louis County Justice Center for questioning in a burglary. After investigators determined that Grider wasn't involved, he should have been handed over to U.S. Marshalls.  Instead, he was released.  

   Missouri Corrections officials told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that federal authorities had neglected to tell local jailers to hold Grider.  But the U.S. Marshall's office says it was state prison officials who were responsible for passing that information to the county.  

   Grider is back in custody because once freed, he reportedly visited his mother and then turned himself in. 

   St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley will have to try again to fill a vacant seat on the Board of Police Commissioners.  That after the County Council rejected one of two nominees Tuesday night.  

   The council unanimously approved former Hazelwood Mayor T.R. Carr, but refused to seat former MSD chief Robert Baer.  

   Republican Councilman Greg Quinn said that his objections had centered on Baer's connection to Dooley campaign manager John Temporiti.  Quinn suggested that Baer's appointment was part of a scheme to fire Police Chief Tim Fitch in retaliation for the chief calling in the FBI to investigate the Gregory Sansone-Police Crime Lab contract scandal.

   Dooley called Quinn's reasoning "insulting."

   Two seats remain vacant on the police board.

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