Institute for Legal, Legislative and Educational Action
ST. LOUIS — A man who shot and killed a burglar last weekend in St. Louis is claiming self-defense under Missouri’s Castle Doctrine law and has not been charged in the killing.
St. Louis prosecutors, however, did file a murder charge against an alleged prostitute who orchestrated the burglary that led to the burglar’s death, police said.
Tierra S. Gines, 31, was charged Monday with second-degree murder and first-degree burglary. Gines lives in the 1200 block of Cleveland Avenue in East St. Louis.
Katrell McCurry was gunned down Sunday afternoon in the 10000 block of Riverview Drive in St. Louis and died at a hospital. McCurry, 29, lived in the 3800 block of Keokuk Street.
Authorities allege that Gines was McCurry’s accomplice.
Police said Gines was a prostitute who was visiting a 37-year-old resident at the home on Riverview. While at the home, she texted McCurry and told him the resident and others at the home had cash and guns.
The text exchange between Gines and McCurry indicated that McCurry was on his way to burglarize the home to steal the items, police said.
Gines “aided and encouraged” McCurry to commit the crimes, and McCurry was shot to death in the process, according to a probable cause statement by St. Louis police Detective Ryan Kirschner.
Police arrested the 37-year-old man who fired the fatal shot. But on Wednesday, police said in an email that prosecutors didn’t file charges against him and cited “lack of evidence as a self-defense claim was made and the castle doctrine.”
Missouri is one of several states with the “castle doctrine,” a self-defense law that allows people who encounter an intruder to use deadly force to protect themselves in their home or vehicle or on their property.
The Post-Dispatch is not identifying the resident who shot McCurry because he has not been charged with a crime. The circuit attorney’s office said the case remains under investigation.
Gines was initially held without bail at the St. Louis Justice Center, but a judge Wednesday released her from jail and ordered she be under house arrest and monitored by GPS. The next court appearance is in February. Gines did not have a lawyer listed in court papers.
Kim Bell is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who covers breaking news for stltoday.com.