17-year-old charged with killing 71-year-old over car keys

Melford Newlon

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged a 17-year-old for the September 2016 murder of a 71-year-old man in Florissant.

According to Officer Shawn McGuire, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department, the shooting occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. on September 9 in the 8700 block of College Avenue.

Prosecutors allege Melford Newlon, then 16 years-old, and two accomplices approached 71-year-old Steven White in the driveway of a residence. Newlon brandished a handgun and demanded White’s car keys.

White refused to hand over his car keys, so Newlon shot him in the head, McGuire said. Newlon and the accomplices dug through White’s pockets and stole his cellphone. The trio drove away from the scene in a white van.

Later that morning, around 4:30 a.m., police were sent to the 1700 of Cargill Drive over reports of a suspicious white van. That van was reported stolen from University City.

Officers parked patrol vehicles in front and behind the van and attempted to speak to the driver, McGuire said. The person behind the wheel, who was later identified as Newlon, accelerated in reverse towards one of the officers, who lunged out of the way to avoid being struck. Newlon then sped off and escaped.

Newlon’s two accomplices were taken into custody a short time later. They were both 14 years of age at the time of their arrest.

Newlon was finally apprehended on Tuesday, September 13.

Prosecutors charged Newlon with one count of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree robbery, four counts of armed criminal action, two counts of second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, one count of first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle, and one count of resisting arrest. He remains jailed without bond.