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Suspected St. Louis area serial killer pleads not guilty

Perez Reed pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and one count of assault in a St. Louis courtroom.

ST. LOUIS — An accused serial killer smirked under a light blue face mask moments before a St. Louis judge refused his request for bail.

Perez Reed, 26, appeared in Judge Scott Millikan’s courtroom via a video feed from the City Justice Center in downtown St. Louis.

Family members of some alleged victims attended the hearing in-person and virtually.

Tillonni Hamilton, whose cousin Pamela Abercrombie is among Reed’s alleged victims, said she saw Reed smile when the judge asked if he could hear him and told Reed to speak up.

“He looked like he had a smirk on his face,” Hamilton told 5 On Your Side’s Sara Machi.

Credit: St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

Abercrombie, 49, was shot to death Sept. 16 in the 4500 block of Adelade Avenue. Carey Ross, 24, was found shot to death three days later in a vacant lot in the 1500 block of Mullanphy Street.

Reed’s public defender, Brian Horneyer, entered a not guilty plea to two counts of murder and armed criminal action. He asked Millikan to set a bond for him noting other jurisdictions are already keeping him in custody.

He said the defense team hasn’t received discovery materials from Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner’s Office and added his client has been declared indigent.

“We are just scratching the surface of an extensive mental health history,” Horneyer said.

“The record is clear and convincing that this defendant is a grave danger to the community at large," Assistant Circuit Attorney Jonathan Phipps added.

Millikan agreed and refused to set bail for Reed.

Millikan also acknowledged Hamilton and several other family members of alleged victims who attended the hearing, saying, “I know this is going to make for a difficult holiday season and I wish you the very best.”

Millikan said a detention hearing will be scheduled for Reed sometime next week.

Reed has also been charged with two homicides in St. Louis County and two murders in Kansas City, Kansas. He’s also facing a federal weapons charge, to which he pleaded not guilty in November.

In all, he is accused of killing six people across the two states in September and October.

He’s also accused of shooting and robbing at least two other people.

Hamilton said she and Abercrombie's daughter are happy Millikan denied Reed's request for bail -- even though he likely would have remained in custody had bail been set due to the other jurisdictions with charges pending against him.

"We're feeling safer for society that he won't be out," she said.


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