No stranger to local authorities, OFallon resident Amanda Kent, 26, of 611 Parkview Dr. is in custody, facing first-degree murder charges after a shooting near Belleville Feb.9.
Unincoporated Belleville resident Darrin Hayes, 25, died in the shooting.
Anthony P. Allen, 21, of Cape Girardeau, Mo. also was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Hayes. Bail for Kent and Allen was set at $1 million. Brittney Y. Moore, 24, Belleville, was charged with obstructing justice; her bail was set at $250,000. The three suspects are in custody at St. Clair County Jail.
Hayes two children, 2 years old and 2 months old, were in his apartment at the time of the shooting but authorities said they were unharmed.
"What they may or may not have witnessed is difficult to tell," St. Clair County Sheriffs Lt. Michael Hundelt said.
Police did not release information on evidence or motive; investigators said they do not believe this was a random act.
Court records allege that Kent is legally responsible, without justification, while committing a forcible felony of robbery and shot Hayes repeatedly causing death, a class M criminal felony.
At age of 19, Kent was arrested in 2006 in connection with the death of Corey D. Kirsch for obstructing justice and concealing evidence of a .25 calibur Raven Arms pistol to prevent the arrest of Anthony Lawson, Jr. According to court records, the charge was dismissed in 2008 after plea negotiations.
However, St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said otherwise. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to the felony obstruction charge (in 2007), Kelly said.
OFallon Police Captain Jeff Wild said his department has been involved with the recent murder case through the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis. We were involved in the callout, and we only had one detective who was acting as a supervisor, Wild said. I am not sure what her previous (criminal) conduct (and charges) will have on this case."
OFallon Lieutenant James Cavins, also a Major Case member, said Kents previous involvement in the 2006 murder case will not have any reflection on her current active case.
Each case is evaluated independently based on the evidence discovered, Cavins said.
According to St. Clair County Circuit Court records, Kent has a list of 44 other cases and multiple misdemeanor and criminal felony cases filed since a 2002 disorderly conduct offense.
Kent is serving active probation from a class A misdemeanor of driving under the influence of alcohol in Alorton. Also, she is scheduled for a hearing and delayed sentencing for a previous offense of a passenger allegedly not wearing a seat belt on August 7.
When asked by the Progress for additional comments, Cavins said, Due to her being involved in a current active case, it would not be prudent for the OPD to comment additionally on the facts you discover... We do not want to potentially bias any future juries with our comments.
In the 2006 killing, Lawson, of OFallon, was convicted of first-degree murder in Kirschs death. Lawson is serving a 32-year sentence at Pontiac Correctional Center. He also was convicted of one count of aggravated battery and causing harm to a peace officer in Randolph County; he was sentenced to an additional four years with a projected discharge of December 2043.
The Major Case Squad continues to ask for the public's help with the investigation. Anyone with information should call the Major Case Squad at 618-825-5200 or 618-825-5781 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-5477.