ST. LOUIS - The Missouri Supreme Court decided not to hear Cornell McKay's case. McKay was convicted for armed robbery and armed criminal action in the robbery of a woman near Lindell and Boyle in the Central West End in August of 2012.
The victim said McKay held her up, then stole her phone and money A judge will sentence him Thursday morning at 11 a.m. Prosecutors are asking her to give him 20 years in prison.
His lawyer, Bob Ramsey, said, he'll continue to appeal the case because he believes in his client's innocence. McKay's church family is fighting for him too.
McKay was living with associate pastor Chris Douglas in August 2012. He met Douglas on a mission trip the church members were making to Covenant House. Soon, McKay was coming to the First Baptist Church in Villa Ridge near Eureka, Mo. He's seen on video on Sunday, nine days before the robbery, talking about his time at the church and rapping.
"I'm really getting into this Jesus thing," he said to church members.
"He would always lend a hand to people," said Douglas.
It was the day after that Sunday service Douglas' home phone rang. It was police on the other end. They wanted to question McKay in connection with a violent crime. It was the weekend Megan Boken was murdered in her car. Keith Esters later admitted to stealing her phone and her money, before he shot and killed her. Boken was a star volleyball player.
Douglas and Mckay's lawyers believe it was Esters who also robbed the woman in the CWE ten days before. Detectives showed the victim McKay's picture and she identified him.
"The only evidence they have is a Caucasian woman pointing out a young black man that looks strikingly similar to Keith Esters," said Douglas.
He's also a former police officer. He knew how criminal investigations work. He told robbery detectives McKay had an alibi the night of the robbery. He was with three family friends. Douglas realized detectives had not interviewed them so he took them to detectives.
"They told us you may as well have brought down bozo the clown we are not going to talk to them," said Douglas.
The jury convicted McKay. Keith Esters told a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter, "I'm not going to back down there and give them a confession because they would give me more time."
Douglas and his church members said they'll continue to write letters of support for McKay.
"We cant ever give up," he said.
Court records show McKay's defense attorney never told the jury about McKay's alibi and he never asked the women to testify in court.
The judge says she stands by decisions she made about evidence. She'll sentence McKay at 11 a.m. Prosecutors want him to spend the next 20 years in prison.
His friends have created a Facebook page called "Justice for Cornell."