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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Maplewood Man Sentenced For Placing Craigslist Ad To Kill Maplewood Police Officers

St. Louis, MO - William Lawrence was sentenced to 72 months in prison for placing a $1 million bounty on Craigslist for the death of any Maplewood Police officer.

According to court documents, on February 6, 2012, Maplewood Police Department officers responded a neighborhood disturbance.  During the course of the investigation, officers determined that one of the parties to the disturbance, William Lawrence, was the subject of an outstanding warrant.  Lawrence was arrested on the outstanding warrant, and because he was combative during the course of the arrest, officers conducted a protective sweep of the apartment.  The search revealed materials and paraphernalia consistent with a marijuana cultivation operation, a shotgun with no serial number and a .22 caliber rifle.  These firearms were seized and Lawrence was transported to jail.

On several occasions following his release from custody, Lawrence contacted the Maplewood Police Department by telephone and in person to demanded the return of his firearms.  On each occasion, he was advised that the guns were being retained as evidence and would not be returned. On March 1, 2012, Maplewood Police received a telephone call from an officer with a neighboring police department who advised that he had located an advertisement on craigslist.com that purported to offer money in exchange for the murder of Maplewood police officers.  Charter Communications Law Enforcement Response Team later confirmed that the IP address from which the threatening advertisement had been placed was associated with William Lawrence.

WILLIAM LAWRENCE previously pled guilty to using the internet in furtherance of murder for hire. He appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Carol E. Jackson.

This case was investigated by the Maplewood Police Department.

Updated March 19, 2015