St. Louis Man Admits Involvement in Armed Carjackings, Jail Escape and Fatal Shooting of De Smet High School Football Coach
ST. LOUIS, MO – A federal grand jury indicted Jeremiah Couch with two counts of carjacking with the intent to cause death or serious physical injury, two counts of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of possessing a stolen firearm.
The grand jury also indicted Joshua Thomas with one count of carjacking with the intent to cause death or serious physical injury, one count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of possession a stolen firearm, and one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition.
According to the indictment and other the court documents, on October 21, 2019, Couch carjacked an individual at gunpoint and fled the scene in the victim’s vehicle. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers located Couch in the victim’s vehicle and when they arrested him, Couch was in possession of one or more firearms. Also on October 21, 2019, Thomas led St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers on a high-speed chase. When the officers caught Thomas, he possessed of one or more firearms and methamphetamine.
Court records further reflect that on October 19, 2019, Couch and Thomas aided and abetted each other in committing an armed carjacking. On October 17, 2019, Couch and another individual matching the Thomas’s description shot an individual and stole the victim’s bag, which contained the victim’s firearm. Thomas was found in possession of that firearm on October 21, 2019.
Additionally, court records reflect that on September 30, 2019, Thomas shot at a group of individuals multiple times, striking one of them. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers located ballistic evidence at the scene.
Carjacking with intent to cause death or serious physical injury carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment; brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence carries a penalty of 7 years up to life imprisonment; felon in possession of a firearm, possessing a stolen firearm, and felon in possession of ammunition carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
Charges set forth in the indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) Jen Szczucinski handled the case as part of the Safer Streets Initiative. The initiative was launched by Attorney General Schmitt and U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen in January of 2019 as an unprecedented state and federal partnership to prosecute violent crime in St. Louis.