Two men charged in Nov. 2017 murder, kidnapping plot

Maurice Whitt and Durrell Anderson

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office charged two men Monday in connection with a violent break-in at a home in the Carondelet neighborhood in November 2017.

According to Officer Michelle Woodling, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the incident unfolded in the 7000 block of Minnesota on November 23, 2017.

Prosecutors charged 36-year-old Maurice Whitt and 33-year-old Durrell Anderson with second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, two counts of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, and four counts of armed criminal action. Bond was set at $250,000 for both men.

According to court documents, Khamkhay Samatmanivong was angry with a woman because she had taken money from him “under false pretenses.” Police detectives reviewed a neighbor’s surveillance cameras that caught Samatmanivong, Whitt, and Anderson waiting in front of the woman’s house and her boyfriend, 37-year-old Charles Keltz, walked out.

The three men attacked Keltz, who then tried running away. One of the suspects followed Keltz toward Quincy Street, where police later found him shot to death.

The other suspect with Samatmanivong smashed through the front door looking for Keltz’s girlfriend, whom he found hiding in the closet.

The girlfriend told detectives the man stole her purse, dragged her outside by her hair, and forced her into a car at gunpoint. Detectives said when she was in the car with the three men, she asked Samatmanivong what was going to happen to her, to which he replied that the men were going to kill her. As they drove past Red’s Eighth Inning Bar, about a half mile away, she was able to open the car door, jump out, and run into the bar for help.

Prosecutors said Samatmanivong admitted to detectives that he had gone to the house with the intention of getting money from the girlfriend and that he called the two other men to help him get it back. And he later told police that he did not mean for anyone to be killed.

Samatmanivong, 51, was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, two counts of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, and four counts of armed criminal action.