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Prosecutors don't file murder charges in two 2020 killings

The charges are in connection to the deaths of Tobias Courtney, Crystal Strong, and Deshuan Jackson
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — Prosecutors in St. Louis declined to file murder charges in two separate 2020 killings.

Police said Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's office decided that self-defense issues kept it from filing murder charges in connection with the deaths of 24-year-old Tobias Courtney and 61-year-old Crystal Strong who died July 26, 2020. But the suspect in that case was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

RELATED: 12 injured, 3 killed in shootings across St. Louis within 24 hours

In a separate case, Gardner's office declined to file charges in the Nov. 25, 2020, killing of 19-year-old Deshuan Jackson. Police were also seeking a robbery charge against the suspect in that case, but the charges were declined. Police said prosecutors did not immediately explain why they didn't file charges in that case.

RELATED: 19-year-old shot and killed the day before Thanksgiving in St. Louis

A spokeswoman for the Circuit Attorney's Office, Allison Hawk, said the cases are under investigation but she declined to comment on why charges weren't filed.

Resources for crime victims:

If you have been a victim of a crime or know someone who has been, 5 On Your Side has compiled a list of resources.

Better Family Life is a nonprofit community development organization working to “stabilize inner-city neighborhoods.” One aspect of its mission is a gun violence de-escalation program.

To learn more, call 314-381-8200 or visit https://www.betterfamilylife.org/

Life Outside of Violence “helps those harmed by stabbing, gunshot or assault receive the treatment, support and resources they need to find alternatives to end the cycle of violence.”

To learn more, call 314-327-6697 or email: ProjectLOV@WUSTL.edu

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis has an anti-crime program called “Safety Net for Youth Initiative,” which is a joint partnership between and Saint Louis Public Schools to provide services to at-risk youth.

To learn more, visit https://www.ulstl.com/anti-crime-initiative.html

Cure Violence is an international organization that has recently launched in a handful of St. Louis neighborhoods. Violence interrupters are trained to deescalate violent situations within their own communities. To learn more, visit https://cvg.org/