Man convicted of killing 4 people, including 10-year-old

Posted at 7:24 AM, October 11, 2021 and last updated 10:35 PM, July 17, 2023

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A St. Louis man was convicted of fatally shooting four people, including a music producer who had worked with him on rap songs and a 10-year-old, while robbing them of electronics and designer clothing.

Jurors found 24-year-old Ja’Vonne Dupree guilty late Friday of four counts of first-degree murder and a string of other charges in the August 2017 deaths of 18-year-old Deandre Kelly, 56-year-old Patricia Steward, and her sons, 20-year-old Joseph Corley and 10-year-old Terrence Dehart, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

FILE – Ja’Vonne Dupree (St. Louis County Police Department)

Steward’s daughter Juanita Lee testified this week that Dupree sometimes slept in the basement where Steward, a hip-hop producer, stored many of her designer clothing and shoes. The shooting happened after he was kicked out of the home.

Lee recalled frantically called her family when she couldn’t reach her mother, then went to the family’s home in Glasgow Village and called police when she noticed her mother’s car missing.

“I felt like something was wrong,” she said.

Authorities said Dupree had three pairs of shoes that came from the crime scene when police arrested him four months later in Columbia, Missouri. Police also relied on Dupree’s social media posts to link him to the killings.

The St. Louis County prosecutor’s office said years ago that it would seek the death penalty against Dupree but decided against it after Wesley Bell took over the office in 2019. Bell opposes the death penalty.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 3. The charges carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

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