CLAYTON, Mo. - The man accused of killing a woman and sexually assaulting two others inside a suburban St. Louis religious supply store has made a brief court appearance on the same day the store reopened.
According to FOX 2, investigative reporter Chris Hayes he appeared calm and alert while two, armed, Justice Service officers sat behind him in the courtroom.
Bruce wore a button up shirt and tan pants and was shackled at his wrists and ankles.
During the court appearance, the judge scheduled a preliminary hearing for Jan. 23 for 53-year-old Thomas Bruce. He is charged with 17 felonies that include first-degree murder and multiple counts of sodomy for the Nov. 19 attack at the Catholic Supply store near Ballwin.
Prosecutors allege that Bruce tried to force the three women in the store to perform sexual acts on him and that he killed a married mother of three when she refused.
The store reopened on Wednesday. The company's president offered thanks for the ``outpouring of prayers, love and support.''