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Man pleads guilty for role in murder of De Smet Jesuit High School coach

Jaz Granderson - Photo credit: Dirt and Turf Photo

ST. LOUIS – A 23-year-old St. Louis man appeared in federal court Monday and admitted to participating in a spate of armed carjackings, one of which resulted in the killing of a De Smet Jesuit High School football coach.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, Jaz Granderson was shot in the early morning hours of October 16, 2017, near the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Hill Street. Granderson played prep football at Kirkwood High School, where he graduated in 2008. He went on to play college football at Northern Iowa.

Over the next several weeks, authorities identified three people in connection with Granderson’s death, as well as other carjackings. By November, prosecutors charged Floyd Barber, Jherrica Dixon, and Kurt Wallace for the aforementioned crimes.

Prosecutors said Dixon lured victims to certain locations in the city, allowing her associates to rob those victims at gunpoint. Two victims were shot during those robberies, including Granderson.

More than a month before Granderson’s murder, the trio was involved in the carjacking of a Kia Optima in the 5900 block of Cote Brilliante.

Barber pleaded guilty to two counts of carjacking, one count of using a firearm in furtherance of one carjacking, and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a carjacking resulting in death.

The first armed carjacking charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. The second armed carjacking charge carries a maximum term of life imprisonment. He faces a minimum of 7 and 10 years on each firearm charge, respectively. Each firearm sentence must be served consecutively. Dixon will be sentenced on September 5.

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