Suspect charged in September 2016 murder of elderly man

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Keishon Jennings

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged an 18-year-old for his role in 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 Keishon Jennings and two accomplices confronted 71-year-old Steven White in the driveway of a residence. One of those accomplices, later identified as Melford 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, prosecutors said. Jennings and the other 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 was finally apprehended on Tuesday, September 13.

Jennings and the third suspect were arrested shortly after the killing.

Prosecutors charged Jennings with second-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action, first-degree robbery, and first-degree tampering with a vehicle.

Meanwhile, Newlon was charged 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.

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