Mother of slain teenager says justice system dragged its feet with arrest, charges

ST. LOUIS – Even though a suspect has been arrested for the shooting death of a 15-year-old, the victim’s mother remains frustrated by the response from law enforcement and the justice system.

On Friday, Roxzyanna Edwards visited the spot where a vigil was held for her son, Sentonio Cox, earlier this week.

Joseph Renick, 54, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in Sentonio’s death. Roxzyanna Edwards wants to know what took so long.

“Why did it take four days for them to get him when they were told who done it?” she said.

Joseph Renick and Roxzyanna Edwards.

Court papers indicate Sentonio was backing away from Renick with his hands up when he was shot in the head.

Cox’s mother said she’s displeased with police and the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office. She said had the roles been reversed, it would have been a different story for her African-American son.

“If my son would have done something, they would have come and got him,” she said.

Edwards said Renick was across the street on his front porch watching her son’s vigil when he should have been behind bars.

She added there are other people who should also be charged in the killing.

Neighbors were surprised Renick is the suspect.

“I was shocked that he even had anything to do with it,” said Sarah Deal.

The police department said some of Edwards’ comments are speculation and the department wouldn’t comment. A spokesperson said they don’t comment on specific details because it is an ongoing investigation. They have not ruled out the possibility of more arrests.

A spokesperson from the circuit attorney’s office said they reacted immediately as soon as they got the case from police.

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