Missouri man pleads not guilty in attack at Catholic store


Thomas Bruce. (Courtesy: Bill McCormac)

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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) _ A 53-year-old man accused of killing a woman and wounding two others at a Catholic store in Missouri has pleaded not guilty.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Thomas Bruce, of rural Jefferson County, entered the plea Wednesday after waiving arraignment.

Prosecutors say that on Nov. 19, Bruce made three women at the Catholic Supply store near Ballwin take their clothes off. He allegedly forced two women to perform sex acts on him and fatally shot a third woman, 53-year-old Jamie Schmidt, of House Springs, when she refused his demands.

Bruce is charged with first-degree murder, several counts of sodomy, armed criminal action, kidnapping, burglary and tampering with evidence.

Bruce also has been charged in an attack on a 77-year-old Jefferson County woman two months before the Catholic Supply attack.

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