ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A 24-year-old man who was convicted of killing four people in St. Louis County will serve four consecutive sentences of life in prison without parole.
In October, a St. Louis County jury convicted Ja’Vonne Dupree of four counts of first-degree murder, four counts of first-degree robbery, and eight counts of armed criminal action for fatally shooting and robbing four people in August 2017 in Glasgow Village, according to a press release.
The victims were 18-year-old Deandre Kelley, 56-year-old Patricia Steward, her 20-year-old son Joseph Corley and her 10-year-old adopted son Terrance DeHart.
“At trial, family members of the victims testified that Dupree was a homeless youth who had been taken in by the matriarch of the family, who also was a hip-hop producer who worked with Dupree as a rapper. Dupree committed the murders and other crimes after being put out of the family home by one of the victims,” the press release states.
On Jan. 6, Dupree was sentenced to life without eligibility for parole for each of the murder charges, and life for each of the robbery charges, and 30 years for each of the armed criminal action charges, according to the press release.
During the sentencing hearing, the mother of one of the victims thanked the court for devoting so much time to the case, as well as the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for “never giving up,” and the jury for bringing justice.
She said her son “had a face that could light up a room,” and told Dupree “you stole that.” Through tears, she said that though she may not have her son, “now I may have some closure.”
Dupree addressed the court to maintain his innocence, according to the press release.
“The conduct, in this case, speaks for itself – this was the heinous execution of a family,” St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said.
“Their lives were taken in their beds while they slept, the one place where they should have been safe, and all for greed. There is nothing here but stolen futures, but at least these maximum sentences bring closure.”