ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis man released early from prison is back in jail, accused of second-degree murder for the apparent accidental death of his alleged accomplice in a Soulard carjacking.
According to St. Louis police, the three carjacking suspects only made it a few blocks early Tuesday morning before crashing the stolen SUV on 7th Street near Barton. One of the suspects was killed in the crash.
Twenty-two-year-old Percy Robinson was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and two counts of armed criminal action.
Under Missouri law (RsMO 565.021), a person can commit second-degree murder if he or she knowingly causes another person’s death.
“And also if he or she – in perpetration or attempted perpetration of a felony or crime – or while fleeing such a felony crime another person is killed.”
Professor Susan McGraugh, a legal expert at St. Louis University School of Law, knows this rule well.
“The felony murder rule: so if you are committing a felony or attempting to commit a felony or fleeing during the course of the felony and someone is killed, you are charged with murder for that person’s death,” she said.
In this case, Robinson and his accomplices were fleeing an alleged carjacking. Legally, it makes no difference if they were willingly in on the crime together.
“It doesn’t matter that you knew or didn’t know someone might be killed,” McGraugh said.
Robinson had been released for a 2015 conviction for armed robbery. He remains jailed without bond.
Police did not release the name of the 20-year-old male suspect who died in the crash.
The other person in the vehicle, 18-year-old Courtney Clay, faces the same robbery and armed criminal action charges as Robinson.