ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A 29-year-old Spanish Lake man pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday for killing a man during an illicit gun and drug deal.
Ivan Henley, 27, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and three related offenses for the murder of Kelvon Phillips on Feb. 17, 2019.
As part of a plea deal, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recommended Henley get 16 years. On Monday, the court agreed to sentence Henley to 16 years behind bars. Henley must serve 85% of the sentence before he’s eligible for parole.
Henley admitted to meeting Phillips in the parking lot behind the Budget Inn on Dunn Road just before 1:30 a.m. Cellphone analysis showed the two men were in contact minutes before the meeting, with Henley offering to sell Phillips a 9mm handgun. Other text exchanges show the two had met to buy or sell drugs to one another.
Motel surveillance video shows Henley went from his car to the Phillips’ vehicle, then to the trunk of his own car. Henley returned to Phillips’ vehicle and sat in the passenger seat. The video shows several muzzle flashes from inside the car. Henley can be seen leaving the victim’s vehicle and driving off in his own car.
Henley was also shot, and was arrested a short time later.
“From the evidence in this case, the roles of victim and defendant could easily have been reversed, given that they were meeting to make an illegal transaction, both exchanged gunfire and both drew blood,” St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said.