St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s stepson arrested for heroin

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Jennifer Joyce, St. Louis circuit attorney, September 2013. (Photo from Circuit Attorney’s Office.)

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The stepson of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce was arrested Wednesday afternoon for heroin possession and trespassing.

According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the man, 32, was arrested around 12:40 p.m. at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Security guards at the hospital contacted police after the man had been warned about trespassing and ordered not to come back. When police arrived at the scene to take the man into custody, they found heroin paraphernalia on him.

His name has not been released because formal charges have not been filed.

In a statement Thursday, Joyce said St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson contacted her about the arrest. She has asked that her stepson be treated like anyone else in this situation. Joyce also requested St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch’s office handle the case in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

Like so many families, mine has been touched by addiction. Yesterday, my stepson —– was arrested in the city of St. Louis in possession of heroin.

(He) is a very smart and talented young man. He is also a heroin addict. It has been difficult to see him destroy his life over the years. His father and I have done all we can to help him but, as with all addicts, the decision to change must be his. He hasn’t made that decision yet.

I’ve asked Chief Dotson to treat him the same as any other person in this circumstance. Bob McCulloch’s office has agreed to handle this case as a special prosecutor due to my conflict of interest.

This experience has been painful, and it has given me important perspective into the lives of families impacted by heroin addiction. Unfortunately, today, few families are untouched by this kind of tragedy. I hope talking about this experience publicly can raise awareness of the important topic of substance abuse.

The circuit attorney is not the only local government official touched by drugs. St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s nephew died of a heroin overdose in 2014 and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s brother was imprisoned on drug charges in 2012.

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