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February 23, 2024

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Fugitive Charged In St. Louis Repossessor’s Murder

A St. Louis woman is facing a felony murder charge after working to rob the person who’d repossessed her Jeep — a robbery that went badly awry.

On September 7, 44-year-old tow truck company owner Jesse Jones attempted to repossess the Jeep Grand Cherokee belonging to Cortrina Donaby in St.  Louis’ Hamilton Heights neighborhood. But police say 27-year-old Dwayne Davis confronted Jones and tried to “intercept” the Jeep.

Jones, however, refused to give up the vehicle. Davis then shot Jones and fled to Cahokia, Illinois, in the Grand Cherokee.

Police tracked the vehicle there thanks to a tracking device the dealer had put on the vehicle, and a chase ensued. Davis crashed the Jeep on the Poplar Street Bridge and was seen throwing a gun into the river.

He was charged two days later with murder and robbery charges, among others.

A photograph of the scene taken by the Post-Dispatch‘s Robert Cohen caught the public’s attention since it showed Jones’ lifeless body wearing bear-claw furry slippers.

“They were lucky he was wearing shoes at all!” Jones’ sister Stephanie told the Post-Dispatch. “He loved being goofy. He loved wearing overalls with no shirt underneath it. He loved tie-dye shirts. That’s him.”

Now, almost three months later, Donaby, the owner of the Jeep, is facing robbery and armed criminal action charges, in addition to the felony murder charge. Felony murder is a charge brought by prosecutors against individuals whose participation in a lesser criminal act leads to someone’s death.

Police say that the 30-year-old Donaby contacted Davis about the repossession of her car, which she had through a short-term rental from a local dealership, and that both Davis and Donaby worked together to intercept it as it was being repossessed. Police say Davis told them about Donaby’s role in the killing of Jones in an interview with detectives.

Donaby is not currently in police custody. Detective Andre Washington wrote in a police probable cause statement that she is no longer living in Missouri, having fled immediately after the killing of Jones. A warrant has been issued for her arrest.

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