BRENTWOOD, Mo.--- Two teens already charged in the killing of former St. Louis University volleyball player Megan Boken were charged today in a Brentwood armed robbery and kidnapping a week before Boken's death.
Prosecutors charged Keith Esters of Bel Ridge and Johnathan Perkins of Overland, both 18, with first-degree robbery, felonious restraint and two counts of armed criminal action in the Brentwood case. A cash bail of $200,000 was set for each suspect in the Aug. 12 incident.
Between 1:30 and 2 p.m. that day, two armed young men forced their way into the car of a woman who had been eating a sandwich inside her car outside Whole Foods at Brentwood Square, said Brentwood Police Chief Steve Disbennett. They demanded cash and the 32-year-old woman's cellphone. When she told them she didn't have much money with her, they forced her to drive to an ATM and withdraw cash, he said.
They then forced her to return to the parking lot, where they ran with her cellphone, cash and wallet in hand. It all unfolded in about 10 minutes, Disbennett said.
Brentwood police then traced the woman's stolen phone to a street in Bel Ridge, but didn't have an exact address. When Esters and Perkins were arrested for Boken's Aug. 18 murder, Brentwood police contacted city detectives to compare notes, according to a police source.
Boken, a St. Louis University graduate in town for an alumni volleyball match, was shot and killed at about 2:30 p.m. Aug. 18 in the city's Central West End after police say she resisted Esters' attempts to steal her purse and cellphone. Authorities said Esters and Perkins have admitted their roles in the murder of Boken, 23, of Wheaton, Ill., and have been criminally charged in that case
The two were still jailed in St. Louis this afternoon.
ST. LOUIS --- Police said Sunday they are continuing to investigate the fatal shooting in the Central West End of a former St. Louis University volleyball player who was visiting St. Louis for an annual alumni game.
Megan Boken, 23, a 2011 graduate of St. Louis University student who most recently lived in the Chicago area, was found about 2:20 p.m. Saturday at Maryland and Taylor avenues with gunshot wounds to her neck and chest, said St. Louis Police Sgt. Roger Engelhardt.
She was taken to Barnes Jewish Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Witnesses told police they saw a man either get out of her Volkswagen or open the door to the vehicle. The two appeared to be arguing and shouting, police said.
A statement from the family emailed Sunday to the Post-Dispatch read:
"Megan was a wonderful and beautiful human being loved by everyone she met. The family and the community are devastated by this senseless tragedy. And the family would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of support. The initial reports that Megan knew her attacker are no longer believed to be true. The family asks that you keep Megan and them in your thoughts and prayers and respect their privacy at this time."
Police have not said whether they believe Boken knew her killer. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay's press secretary, Kara Bowlin, tweeted that initially, evidence appeared to show that they knew each other but she now says it's not clear.
Slay, reacting to the kiling, tweeted Sunday that he was "not impressed by the preemptive tweets defending guns following yesterday's fatal shooting in the CWE." He continued, "Whatever the circuimstances, the shooter deserves every bad thing that is going to happen to him...and more.”
The shooter was seen firing two shots into the vehicle before leaving the scene, police said. He left before police arrived. He was described as a black man believed to be in his mid-20s, about 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a thin build and short hair.
Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.
Boken was a four-year volleyball player at SLU who graduated in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing, the university said in a news release. She played on the Billikens volleyball team from 2007 to 2010.
"In addition to being a great student, she was an outstanding ahtlete and an important part of our championship teams," said Chris May, the university director of athletics. "She contributed as much in the classroom and in the community as she did on the court."
According to her LinkedIn page, Boken was a financial adviser for Edward Jones in Wheaton from September of last year through June. Before attending SLU, she went to St. Francis High School in Wheaton.
Representatives of the campus ministry and counselors already have met with students, university officials said. Coaches and players on SLU's women's volleyball team met Sunday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena to talk about their slain teammate. A coach said it has been "emotional" for the team as it prepares for its first game of the season Friday at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb.
St. Louis police spokesman Dave Marzullo said Sunday detectives are hoping to obtain and review surveillance video from cameras near the intersection that may have shown the killing.
-Joel Currier of the Post-Dispatch staff contributed to this report.