ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis man admitted he was involved in a fatal 2019 carjacking and is now facing at least 23 years in federal prison.
Jalen Exavier Simms, 27, was supposed to stand trial Monday in front of U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Autrey for one count of attempted carjacking resulting in death. Simms chose to plead guilty to the charge Monday. He admitted that he and another man saw Jabari Clark sleeping in the driver’s seat of his 2012 Dodge Ram truck on June 3, 2019 at 6:03 a.m. in the 3000 block of Rauschenbach Avenue. According to the Department of Justice Simms said in his guilty plea that he “approached Clark on the driver’s side while the other man approached the passenger side of the vehicle. Both pointed handguns at Clark.”
Simms said he tried to remove Clark from the truck. The two struggled for about 30 seconds. At that point, the other man “fired several shots, hitting Clark multiple times.” Simms and the other man then fled the scene.
“Clark staggered out of his truck and collapsed on his front lawn, where he died, despite efforts by family members to administer aid,” the DOJ said.
Investigators were able to obtain surveillance video of the incident from a nearby home, and Simms dropped a phone charging cord with his DNA on it.
As part of the plea, both sides have agreed to request a prison sentence of between 23 and 25 years. Simms is scheduled to be sentenced on November 2.
The identity of the other man with Clark is unknown at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Division at 314-444-5371 or report information anonymously via St. Louis Regional Crimestoppers at 866-371-TIPS.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.