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Press Release

Final of Four Teens Pleads Guilty to Charge in St. Louis County Cab Driver’s Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – The final of four defendants from St. Louis County, Missouri charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a cab driver in Hazelwood in 2022 pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Tywon Harris, 20, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to one count of aiding and abetting in the commission of a murder.

Coron Dees, now 20, pleaded guilty in April 2023 to a robbery charge. Jeremiah Allen, 20, and Trishawn Jones, 19, pleaded guilty in August to the same robbery charge. Jones also pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting in the commission of a murder.

In their plea agreements, all four admitted involvement in the robbery of Dewight Price, 54. Harris instigated the robbery. Dees and Jones robbed Price at gunpoint, while Allen taunted and threatened Price during the robbery. Jones fired the fatal shot when he perceived Price to be a threat to their escape. Jones was 17 and the others were 18 at the time of the murder.

On April 24, 2022, after leaving a party in downtown St. Louis, the four teens stopped at a gas station in the 700 block of North Tucker Boulevard. Harris and Jones were each armed with semiautomatic handguns, but Harris gave his gun to Dees to carry in his cross-body bag on the walk to the gas station.

At 5:23 a.m., Harris called for a taxi ride home. The four planned to take the taxi to a fake address near Allen’s home, then run away without paying the fare. After learning that they would have to prepay for the ride, the teens began discussing plans to rob Price.

They redirected Price to Hazelwood Central High School, where they thought there would be no witnesses.  Allen denied being part of the planning but admitted he knew that a robbery was going to take place. All four teens knew Jones and Dees were armed.

When they arrived, Dees and Jones pulled out their firearms and demanded cash from Price. Price begged the teens not to shoot him. A laughing Allen, who was in the front seat, told Price not to move and said, “You got two 40s to your head,” referencing a popular firearm caliber. Price held up his hands and handed cash to Jones.  Price then grabbed a firearm he kept in his door. Allen warned the three others that Price had a gun.  Price began to get out of the cab, but Harris opened his door, knocking Price to the ground.

Jones saw Price’s firearm and fired once, hitting Price in the torso. None of the teens stopped to help Price. As they ran away, Price fired his own gun multiple times, but did not strike any of them.  

Although Harris claims Price fired the first shot, neither the inside or outside of the taxi nor any of the defendants was struck by gunfire. Any shot fired by Price would likely have struck his attackers or the vehicle.  Investigators believe Price did not begin firing until after he was mortally wounded, the plea agreements say.

The teens then ran along a wooded path to Allen’s neighborhood, tossing their jackets into a creek and putting on face masks.  

Police arrived to find Price dead. That afternoon, the investigation led them to Allen’s house. Allen, Jones, and Harris hid Harris’s .22-caliber Glock 44 handgun and clothing they wore during the shooting above the drop ceiling in Allen’s basement. Police surrounded the house and members of Allen’s family voluntarily left. Police then entered the residence and called for Allen, Harris and Jones to surrender.  Allen and Jones left the basement and surrendered.  Harris attempted to hide. Police found Harris during a sweep of the basement and then found the gun and clothing. They later found Jones’ .40-caliber Ruger handgun, which he had hidden in a neighbor’s back yard wrapped in a pair of Dee’s jeans.   

Dees and Allen are scheduled to be sentenced in April, Jones is set to be sentenced in May and Harris’ sentencing is scheduled for July. The robbery charge carries a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a $250,00 fine or both. The aiding and abetting murder charge carries a potential penalty of up to life in prison and the same fine.

The St. Louis County Police Department and the FBI investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Dunkel is prosecuting the case.

Contact

Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer, robert.patrick@usdoj.gov.

Updated March 26, 2024

Topics
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime