Son of mom accused of arranging witness deaths enters plea

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man has pleaded guilty to killing a 16-year-old in a crime that prosecutors alleged his mother initially tried to cover up by orchestrating the deaths of two potential witnesses.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 23-year-old Tyrell Davidson was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the September 2013 killing of Chauncey Brown outside a youth club.

Prosecutors dismissed eight other counts against Davidson, including first-degree murder and witness tampering, as part of his plea. Davidson was 16 at the time of Brown’s death but was tried as an adult.

Within seven months of the killing, potential witnesses James Moore and Noah Barnes — both 16 — were fatally shot. Prosecutors alleged his mother, Latashia Mopkins, arranged the killings with her brother, nephew and a third man.

But murder charges against the four were dismissed in September 2018 after a St. Louis detective's brain cancer diagnosis left him unable to testify about a forensic evaluation of cellphones. The detective later died.

Chris Nuelle, a spokeswoman for the Missouri attorney general's office, which handled the prosecutions, told The Associated Press on Monday that the decision about whether to refile charges against the four remains under review.

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