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Caregiver sentenced to life in prison for murdering 94-year-old woman

Coffer was sentenced to life in prison without eligibility of parole for first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Geneva Richardson
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High Angle View Of Judge Gavel And Handcuffs On Wooden Desk

FLORISSANT, Mo. — A St. Louis County man found guilty of murdering a 94-year-old-woman he was supposed to be caring for, was sentenced to life in prison Friday. 

Tommie Coffer was sentenced to life in prison without eligibility for parole for first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Geneva Richardson on Dec. 18, 2017. He will serve the sentences in Division 6 of the St. Louis County Circuit Court.

During the trial, the prosecution argued that Coffer, a caregiver, was stealing from Richardson by writing himself checks from her account. They said he wrote more than $7,000 worth of checks to himself in December of 2017, and when Richardson confronted him, he hit her with a skillet and stabbed her multiple times.

On the day of the murder, Coffer left Richardson’s home in an Uber more than two hours before his shift was supposed to end, and he had that Uber drop him off before he reached his planned destination, according to court documents.

In court, the driver testified that Coffer was carrying a colorful bag during the ride. Police said they found the bag and other evidence, including the skillet and a pillow soaked in the victim's blood.

The defense tried to argue that Richardson died from a fall, but the jury sided with the prosecution.

In the days after the crime, neighbors told 5 On Your Side that Richardson hired help a few months ago because she began having a hard time moving around the house.

One neighbor said Richardson spent more than 40 years as a guidance counselor, helping kids.

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