Sentenced to life in prison, the 21-year-old inmate has plenty of time to think about the steps that led him to a cellblock in the South Central Correctional Center. The key date in Esters' story? August 18, 2012, the day he pointed a gun at Megan Boken, announced he was robbing her, and found himself scuffling with the former Saint Louis University volleyball player over a cell phone. Then Esters shot Boken in the head and chest, killing her. He would later plead guilty to her murder.
Prison life, he says, is something he can handle.
"I ain't just sitting in here, but for right now I'm just doing me, just doing this bid," Esters said when reached by phone. "It's alright. It feel like I'm at the crib, for real. I don't really trip off this shit."
But Esters' history of violence contains a mystery: Did he rob another woman eight days before the Boken murder? It's a question that weighs heavily on Cornell McKay, who spent nearly three years in prison for the August 10 robbery, even as his lawyers argued that Esters was actually the perpetrator.
While the victim of that robbery identified McKay as the perpetrator, all available physical evidence -- such as the victim's stolen phone -- pointed to Esters, as we detailed in our cover story last week. McKay's lawyers have argued that if police had apprehended the right man for the August 10 robbery, Boken might still be alive today.More »