ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – An Overland couple was charged for the death of their cohort—an O’Fallon, Missouri man—who was shot during an attempted robbery Friday, December 21 in downtown St. Charles.
According to Lt. Tom Wilkison, a spokesman for the St. Charles Police Department, a passerby saw a man on the ground in an alley near N. 2nd Street and Franklin streets around 7:30 p.m. First responders arrived at the scene a short time later and the man was pronounced dead.
Authorities identified the body as 31-year-old Brady Wood. Two people were taken into custody over the weekend in connection with Wood’s death.
Wilkison said investigators interviewed the suspects—identified as Autumn Nuspl and Michael Leslie—and learned they conspired with Wood to commit a robbery and take drugs and cash from their intended target.
Wood, Nuspl, and Leslie created a fake Facebook account under the name “Amanda Smith” to lure their target to a predetermined location where the robbery would occur.
"Mr. Wood knew the person he lured to the scene," said Captain Ray Jenks, Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis. "He was familiar with him. That's what the robbery was for because he knew what he was involved in and would have cash and narcotics on him."
The victim was told a friend would pick him up and bring him to “Amanda Smith.” Nuspl, who pretending to be a friend of “Amanda Smith,” picked up the intended victim just after 5 p.m. The two then drove to an alley in the 800 block of N. 2nd Street.
At that point, Wood and Leslie appeared with their faces covered and declared a robbery. Wood was armed with a pellet gun that appeared to be a real handgun.
Unbeknownst to the suspects, the victim was armed with a .22 caliber revolver and shot Wood in the neck, killing him.
The victim ordered Nuspl to drive him back to where she picked him up. Nuspl complied and dropped the victim off. She returned to the scene of the shooting to try and find Leslie.
For his part, Leslie took Wood's pellet gun and tossed it into a city trash receptacle about 65 yards away. Leslie and Nuspl met up with one another and drove back to the shooting scene.
Leslie took Wood's wallet and cellphone and used the phone to call 911 and tell a dispatcher that he was thinking of robbing somebody before hanging up. Leslie tossed the cellphone in the street near Fifth and Adams streets. Nuspl and Leslie drove back to her Overland residence, where she tossed Wood's wallet in a storm sewer.
St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said the shooting was justified.
"It was self-defense. (Wood) pulled a gun on the shooter," he said."
Prosecutors charged Leslie and Nuspl with attempted first-degree robbery, second-degree murder, and tampering with physical evidence. They were each jailed on a $250,000 cash-only bond.
Lohmar explained why Leslie Nuspl would face murder charges even though they didn't kill their accomplice.
"If someone is involved in a felony and the death of a person results, even though they didn't cause death, they can be held liable for the death," he said.