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3 people charged in carjacking-turned-murder near Cherokee Street

James Anthony Sapone was shot and killed during an attempted carjacking back in March. Police said he was getting into his car when the suspects tried to rob him.
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — Three suspects have been charged in an attempted carjacking that turned into a murder near the heart Cherokee Street’s row of restaurants, bars and shops.

A federal grand jury indicted Demario Hunter, 33, Keombra James, 25, and Surrayah Hill, 21. All three suspects are from East St. Louis. They were charged with attempted carjacking resulting in death, murder in the course of a crime of violence and possession and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Hunter faces an additional charge of being a felon in possession of ammunition.

St. Louis police said on March 18 James Anthony Sapone was shot and killed near Iowa and Cherokee Street. Investigators said Sapone and a woman were going back to their car parked behind a business when two people tried to rob them.

The suspect pulled out a gun and shot Sapone and then ran away. Sapone died at the hospital.

RELATED: St. Louis police still looking for leads in murder case on Cherokee Street

“Gun violence and carjackings remain top priorities of this office,” said Jeffrey B. Jensen, United States Attorney following the indictment’s unsealing Tuesday. “We continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to prevent these senseless acts of violence but, when they occur, we are committed to holding each and every perpetrator accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

All three suspects have been arrested.

If convicted, the charges of attempted carjacking resulting in death and murder in the course of a crime of violence carry a maximum penalty of life in prison or the death penalty.

The case was investigated by the FBI and St. Louis police, with help from St. Louis County police and the Illinois Department of Corrections Parole.

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