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Press Release

St. Louis Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Fatally Carjacking Friend

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

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White on Tuesday sentenced a convicted felon who fatally shot his friend before stealing and burning his car to 30 years in prison. 

Judge White also ordered Laveal David Jones to pay $9,074 to his victim’s family for funeral costs.

Early on the morning of Oct. 1, 2022, the victim drove Jones from a night club in Sauget, Illinois to an area near the 3000 block of Walton Place in St. Louis. After the victim dropped off a third person, Jones confronted the victim about money Jones believed he was owed, leading to a physical fight. Jones suffered a bloody nose before using the victim’s firearm to shoot the victim twice, his plea agreement says.

Jones left the victim’s body in the street, stripped naked so Jones’ blood couldn’t be recovered from the victim’s clothing. Jones got lighter fluid and then drove the victim’s 2015 Kia K900 sedan to West Missouri Avenue and North B Street in East St. Louis, where he set it on fire and walked away. 

On Oct. 17, 2022, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers spotted Jones in a different stolen Kia. He crashed the car and then fled on foot, discarding a pistol before he was caught, his plea agreement says. 

Five of the victim’s relatives spoke of the impact of his death during Tuesday’s hearing, including his mother and sister.

The murder occurred less than three months after Jones was released from prison. In October 2016, he stole cash and a 2009 Sonata from a pizza delivery driver by ambushing the driver and repeatedly shocking him with a taser.

Jones, 25, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty in February in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to three felony counts: carjacking resulting in death, being a felon in possession of a firearm and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, with death resulting.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Finlen prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.


Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer,

Updated May 7, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime