Ex-boyfriend charged with murder in death of East St. Louis woman

News-DemocratDecember 5, 2013 

— An East St. Louis man was charged with first-degree murder Thursday in connection with the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend.

Montrell Cooper, 25, was being held in lieu of $2 million bail in the St. Clair County Jail.

The body of Michelle Rowling, 25, was found in her apartment in the Gompers Homes Saturday night. Rowling was the mother of one of Cooper's children.

Cooper surrendered to police Tuesday night.

Cooper has had a history of domestic violence with Rowling. Police said that Cooper slit her throat on one occasion and he beat her up on a second occasion.

At a candlelight vigil held Sunday night at the Gompers Homes, family members said the couple had been in a rocky relationship.

Several family members talked about a Facebook posting that Rowling put out saying that if anything happened to her, to tell her children and her mother that she loved them.

This was the 19th homicide recorded in East St. Louis this year.

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