ST. LOUIS – A federal judge is reconsidering whether to reopen a previously settled wrongful death suit against a former St. Louis police officer.
On December 20, 2011, Jason Stockley shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, at West Florissant and Acme after a mile-long chase through the area.
Stockley was eventually charged with murder in the case. He was acquitted on September 15, 2017.
Smith’s family filed a civil suit against the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department before the murder trial began. The family settled the case out of court for $900,000.
The federal judge is now weighing the option to reopen the case because he said the attorney for Smith’s family did not have access to DNA evidence at the time, our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Earlier Wednesday, it was reported that the judge had, in fact, reopened the case. However, the Clerk of Court at the US District Court in downtown St. Louis released a statement Wednesday afternoon, clarifying that judge was only considering such action.
I am writing you due to your interest in reporting on the above-styled case. I am including appropriate and current information on the case. You may wish to check this information against any previous reports you have issued. Please contact me if you have further questions.
On March 27, 2018, the Court held a telephone conference with counsel of record regarding a pending Motion to Reopen Case/Motion for Sanctions/Motion for Order to Show Cause [ECF No. 104]. Although a motion is pending in the case, the case remains closed. The Court has permitted counsel of record additional time to provide the Court with a scheduling plan relating to the pending matters. That plan is due on April 3, 2018. A formal hearing is not scheduled before the Court on that date.
Gregory J. Linhares
Clerk of Court
United States District Court – Eastern Missouri
During the criminal trial, prosecutors alleged that Officer Stockley shot into Smith’s car at Riverview and Thekla in St. Louis then he and his partner, who was driving the SUV, chased Smith at speeds over 80 miles per hour. During the pursuit, the defendant is heard on an internal police car video saying “Going to kill this m/f, don’t you know it.”
As Smith’s car was slowing to a stop, Stockley was heard telling the other officer to “Hit him right now,” at which point the driver slams the police SUV into the victim’s car. Stockley approached Smith’s car on the driver’s side and shot five times into the car, striking Smith with each shot. He died as a result of the gunshot wounds. A gun was recovered from the victim’s car but was later determined by lab analysis to have only Stockley’s DNA on it.
St. Louis Police first requested that the U.S. Attorney’s Office review the case in 2012. Evidence was gathered, but no charges were filed. In March 2016, SLMPD Internal Affairs investigators contacted the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office to review the matter with additional evidence developed by both the department and the FBI.
Protesters took to the streets for the next several days following the acquittal.