ST. LOUIS – A 20-year-old Olivette man has pleaded guilty to four charges relating to the death of a former Saint Louis University volleyball player.
Johnathan Perkins will spend 20 years in prison for the murder of 23-year-old Megan Boken, who was shot to death the afternoon of August 18, 2012 during a robbery in the Central West End. Boken, who was from the Chicago area, was in town to play in an alumni volleyball game.
Boken's mother, father, and sister all read statements at Friday's hearing.
"We lost just an incredible young person but we're being strong because Megan was incredibly strong, so although we miss her every day, we're trying to do what we can to continue to move forward," said her father, Paul Boken.
The triggerman, Keith Esters, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action, and attempted robbery in November. He was sentenced to life in prison, plus 20 years.
"We are satisfied that the defendant decided to plead guilty in this case. This does not provide closure, there's nothing that can do that. It does, however, give us the sense that justice was served," Paul Boken said after Esters' sentencing last year.
Prosecutors say Boken was talking on the phone while sitting in her car at the intersection of N. Taylor and Maryland around 2:20 p.m. August 18, 2012 when Esters approached her, took her phone, shot her in the chest and neck, and ran to a getaway vehicle driven by Perkins.
Police tracked a cell phone connected to another robbery in the area, which led them to a witness who said her boyfriend, Keith Esters, admitted to her he was involved in Boken's murder. The woman said Esters and his cousin, Johnathan Perkins, had made plans to drive to the Central West End that afternoon to commit a robbery.
The pair was charged six days after the murder.
Megan Boken's murder captured national attention, and prompted legislation to make it harder to resell stolen cell phones. The law was signed by Mayor Francis Slay in December 2012.