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Appeals court reverses conviction in Central West End cellphone robbery

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- On Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals court reversed a robbery conviction of Cornell McKay. McKay, 23, was convicted of robbing a woman of her cell phone and cash in the Central West End on August 10, 2012. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

McKay’s lawyers say the true robber was Keith Esters. Esters was convicted of killing the Saint Louis University volleyball player Megan Boken on August 18, 2014.

McKay’s attorneys say they were only allowed to “hint” at various connections to Esters in his trial.

The court has ordered a new trial. No time for that trial has been set.

Attorney General Chris Koster intends to ask Missouri Supreme Court to review the McKay robbery conviction

Koster released the following statement:

“I have reviewed the opinion of the Court of Appeals in this case, and I intend to seek transfer to the Missouri Supreme Court without delay. I will defend without hesitation the work of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and Circuit Attorney’s Office in the State’s highest court.”

The office of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce released a statement Tuesday afternoon. It read in part:

“We believe the trial court appropriately protected Mr. Cornell McKay’s right to a fair trial. At trial, the jury heard defense evidence of an alternative perpetrator. They also heard sound testimony of the victim and eyewitness who positively identified Mr. McKay as the perpetrator of robbery and found it compelling, convicting Mr. McKay beyond a reasonable doubt.

While we are disappointed the appellate court decision did not uphold the jury’s verdict, we respect the court’s decision. The Attorney General’s Office has expressed their intent to appeal this decision to the Missouri Supreme Court and we await those proceedings. We continue to have full confidence in this case, this victim, this trial court and the criminal justice process as a whole.”

More coverage: Gunman pleads guilty in Boken murder case; gets life plus 20 years