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.
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.
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/