Saturday, February 4, 2012

St. Louis, MO: St. Louis man gets 6 life terms for double-murder

ST. LOUIS • A St. Louis man who killed his former girlfriend in front of their 4-year-old son was sentenced Friday to multiple life terms in prison.
Melvin R. Patton also shot his ex-girlfriend's brother and one of her friends. The friend survived but her brother died.
St. Louis Circuit Judge David Dowd sentenced Patton to two consecutive terms of life without parole, one for each of the first-degree murders, as well as four more concurrent life terms for assault and armed criminal action charges and 15 years on a burglary charge.
At Patton's trial in December, jurors heard his son's version of the shooting.
"I said, 'Daddy, please don't kill my Mommy.' He went, 'Pow, pow, pow,'" the boy said in a taped interview.
Prosecutors said at around 3:45 a.m. on April 21, 2010, Patton entered the home of Keneka Elliott, 24, in the 3800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, and then to her bedroom, where she, their son and a 28-year-old female friend were sleeping. Patton shot Elliott three times.
He also shot her friend, who still has a bullet lodged in her head from the incident.
On Patton's way out of the house, he shot Elliott's brother, Julius Elliott, 29, at least four times, including one execution-style shot to the back of the head, prosecutors say. Julius Elliott had been sleeping in the living room.
Both Patton's son and Keneka Elliott's friend identified him as the shooter in court.
Keneka Elliott's 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son from another relationship were also home. Her 8-month-old son was with family that night. Assistant Circuit Attorney Christine Krug said last year that they are now spread among separate family members.
In closing arguments, Patton's lawyer, Daniel Rousseau, tried to cast doubt on the eyewitness identification. The shooter was wearing all black and his face was concealed. The murder weapon was never found.
But an accused drug user who shared a holding cell with Patton told police he heard Patton's confession.
Patton, of the 3000 block of Texas Avenue, had clashed with Keneka Elliott for years over Patton's access to the boy. During the trial, relatives said that Patton sent a text at one point that said, "I'll kill anyone to get my son."
Keneka Elliott had also cooperated with prosecutors in a trial against Patton on charges of kidnapping, burglary, domestic assault and a weapon charge, but he was acquitted.

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