Ex-Coroner Facing Charges for Smoking Meth Inside Hearse

Categories: Crime

Flickr via That Hartford Guy
Claire Fisher approves.

We may have jokingly dubbed a swath of southeast Missouri "Meth-o-potamia" for its plentiful tweakers, but it's western Missouri's Ray County, just an hour's drive from Kansas City, that's making a strong push to claim that title for itself.

That's thanks to Toby Polley -- funeral home operator and, up until early March, Ray County's elected coroner.

It was February 24, nearly midnight, when Polley was allegedly spotted smoking meth in a white hearse in the parking lot of Argosy Casino. Security guards told Riverside Police that a surveillance camera had spotted "a male sitting in a white hearse, smoking a white substance out of a glass pipe," reported Fox4KC.

When an officer arrived to investigate, Polley identified himself as the Ray County Coroner. In fact, Polley said he'd just dropped off a body. But, in a move that likely confirmed he was high off his goddamn gourd, Polley then asked the officer if he would like to see a "suit of armor" he'd bought at Marshall's.

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Bedsheet Thief Tases Loss Prevention Officer at JC Penny's

Categories: Crime

Courtesy of the St. Peters Police Department
Police say this surveillance photo shows a woman accused of tasing a loss prevention officer at the Mid-Rivers Mall.
Update: The bedsheet thief has been busted! See our update at the end of this post.

Original post follows ....

A twenty-something blonde at the Mid-Rivers Mall was not letting anything come between her and her 800-thread count bedsheets.

St. Peters Police say the would-be shoplifter fended off a loss prevention officer at JC Penny's ... by zapping her with a Taser.

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Surprisingly Polite Gunman Says "I'm Sorry, My Bad" After Shooting at Motorist

Paramount Pictures
It was like this, only he said he was sorry. So it's OK, right?
We all make mistakes.

We cheat on math tests, text our exes "hey" at 3 a.m. and leave dog poop on our neighbors' yards. Those mistakes are understandable and, we hope, forgivable. But that's not the case with Michael V. Pona II, of Ballwin, who allegedly tried apologizing to the driver of a car he'd just fired on during a seemingly random shooting spree.

It all started around 1:30 p.m. Monday, when police began receiving reports of gunshots near Manchester and Holloway roads. Pona, 34, was behind the wheel of a black Cadillac Escalade, traveling east, when he allegedly opened fire on at least two vehicles before crashing his own car and attempting (unsuccessfully) to make an aquatic escape via creek.

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Fourth Local Church Reports Theft of "Black Lives Matter" Sign

Categories: Crime

Courtesy Bob Molsberry
The stolen sign.

A fourth church in the St. Louis area is reporting that its "Black Lives Matter" sign has been stolen. Reverend Bob Molsberry of Peace United Church of Christ in Webster Groves says the 2-foot-by-3-foot vinyl sign had been hanging outside the church since the winter, only to suddenly disappear this week.

"I'm almost thinking it's not local in our Webster Groves area just because it was up for so long," he says. "It didn't seem to be a matter of controversy."

The theft in Webster Groves is the latest in a series targeting the signs, whose slogan has been used at many protests around the country in the effort to combat police brutality against people of color.

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The Most Dangerous City in Missouri Is ... Branson?

Categories: Crime

Photo Courtesy of Flickr/Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau
Branson at night. Doesn't it just scream "danger"?
It's not St. Louis.

It's not Ferguson.

In fact, it's not anywhere north of Delmar.

Instead, the most dangerous city in Missouri, a new study claims, is actually Branson.

Yep, that's right, the city that Homer Simpson once described as "Las Vegas as if it were run by Ned Flanders" has us beat when it comes to crime.

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Cop Who Shot VonDerrit Myers Jr. in Shaw Last Fall Won't Face Charges

VonDeritt Myers Jr. was shot by an officer in Shaw in October 2014. One month later, when prosecutors declined to charge the officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, protests erupted near the scene of Myers' shooting, as well as in Ferguson.
Photo by Theo Welling
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police officer who shot VonDerrit Myers Jr. last October while working a private security job in the Shaw neighborhood will not face criminal charges, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce announced this afternoon.

In a 51-page report, Joyce closed out her office's "independent and thorough review" of the October 8 shooting, which led to angry protests and calls of a cover-up just two months after Michael Brown was shot by an officer in suburban Ferguson.

The officer has said that Myers shot first -- and while no eyewitnesses to the entire incident could be found, the Circuit Attorney's investigators found numerous people in the Shaw neighborhood that evening who distinctly recalled hearing fire from two guns. Ballistics reports also concluded that a Smith and Wesson found near Myers' body matched three bullets and four cartridge casings on the scene, while a witness identified Myers -- a.k.a. "Droop" -- as the man who'd stolen the Smith and Wesson from him in the previous month.

A number of witnesses who might have provided a different story refused to cooperate with the investigation, the report notes.

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Police Insisted Cornell McKay Was to Blame for a Robbery -- It Cost Him Nearly Three Years

Categories: Crime, Longform

Illustration by Kelly Glueck

Cornell McKay has just been found guilty by a jury of his peers, so even though he has not yet been sentenced, the guards at the St. Louis City Justice Center are taking every precaution. The wiry 22-year-old is wearing an orange jumpsuit; his hands are cuffed behind his back.

"It's a lot of humiliation, to live in this place," McKay says. He squirms in his chair, trying to find a more comfortable position in the too-tight handcuffs. "You gotta get strip searched, you gotta be around these rapists and these murderers."

McKay's trial, a hotly contested four-day affair, centered on an armed mugging in the Central West End, a relatively simple robbery that initially didn't even make the local news. It quickly became much more than that, though, embroiling a high-profile murder case, another possible culprit and a series of questionable decisions by a St. Louis judge and prosecutors.

McKay's lawyers, who would fight for years to free him from prison, say police identified the wrong man -- and then refused to look at a mountain of evidence that would clear their client.

They dug their heels in, McKay's lawyers say, to cover up their own ineptitude. If police had pursued the case aggressively from the beginning, they argue, they could have arrested the right man, the real robber. And if they'd done that, they could have saved the life of a young woman murdered in the Central West End.

Cornell McKay, they believe, was simply collateral damage.

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Fake Cop Busted for Pulling Over "Irritating" Drivers

Categories: Crime, Missourah

Photo courtesy of Flickr/robotpolisher
A southwest Missouri man was busted last week for failing to resist an urge common to most drivers: He pulled over other motorists simply because he found their actions on the road "irritating."

Jacob Trammell, twenty, was charged in Greene County for false impersonation of a law-enforcement officer and using a siren/blue lamp without a valid permit, court records show. The Springfield News-Leader reports that Trammell confessed to having the blue and reds installed atop his vehicle six months ago.

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Dorian Johnson Charged with Resisting Arrest; Drink Tests Negative for Illegal Substances

Categories: Crime

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
Dorian and Damonte Johnson.

Update 4:45 p.m.: The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office has charged Dorian Johnson -- a key witness in the Michael Brown case, and also the plaintiff in a suit against the city of Ferguson -- with "resisting or interfering with arrest/detention/stop" for trying to prevent a police officer from arresting his brother, Damonte.

The rumored drug charges against Dorian Johnson, however, have evaporated. The drink Dorian discarded, described to the Post-Dispatch by an anonymous police source as "cough medication mixed with what police believe to be an illegal narcotic," tested negative for drugs.

"A drug charge was brought to our office. It was refused by our office," says Lauren Trager, spokeswoman for the circuit attorney.

That doesn't mean the Johnson brothers are in the clear. Not only does Dorian Johnson face a charge of resisting arrest, but Damonte Johnson has also been charged with resisting arrest, as well as 3rd degree assault against a police officer.

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Man Busted for Counterfeit Credit Cards After Stumbling Into ... Counterfeit Credit Card Investigation

Photo courtesy of Flickr/frankie leon
His timing couldn't have been worse.

Tyrelle A. Phillips was in a Walgreens in O'Fallon, Missouri, on September 16, 2014, using counterfeit credit cards to buy Visa gift cards. O'Fallon Police just so happened to be in the exact same store on the exact same day, obtaining surveillance photos of people suspected of committing the exact same crime.

And just like a Hollywood comedy, they met cute.

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