Guilty plea expected today in murder of former SLU volleyball player


by Brendan Marks /

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 5:33 PM

N. Taylor and Maryland

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – One of two teenage cousins charged in the 2012 death of a former Saint Louis University volleyball player in the Central West End changed his plea to guilty.

Keith V. Esters, of Bel Ridge, appeared in St. Louis Circuit Court for a plea hearing on Friday afternoon.

Esters and Johnathan Perkins, of St. Louis, were charged with killing 23-year-old Megan Boken, who was shot twice during an attempted robbery in the Central West End on August 18, 2012.

Officials said Esters pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, two counts of attempter robbery and armed criminal action receiving one life sentence and 20 years in prison.

Perkins was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree attempted robbery and armed criminal action. Both suspects initially pleaded not guilty and have been in custody without bond since the incident. 

Police say Boken, 23, was shot twice, in the chest and the head, while sitting in her white Volkswagen near the intersection of N. Taylor and Maryland Avenue around 2:30 p.m. that day. According to police, she was outside an apartment building she used to live while attending the university.

Click here to see photos of Boken

Boken was in town for a Saint Louis University alumni volleyball game, and she graduated from the school last year with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

The probable cause statement said investigators were led to Esters and Perkins by a cellphone that was connected to another robbery in the same area.

“That investigation led to a witness who stated that her boyfriend, Keith Esters, admitted to her that he was involved in the shooting of Ms. Boken,” the statement said. “The witness also stated that her boyfriend and his cousin, Johnathan Perkins, made plans to drive to the Central West End and commit a robbery.”

Perkins also told police that Esters saw Boken speaking on her cellphone and decided she “would be the target of the robbery,” according to the statement from police. She was killed during the course of the robbery, the statement said.

Esters and Perkins were later charged with robbery and felonious restraint for allegedly robbing a woman after forcing her to drive to an ATM at the Brentwood Square shopping center six days before Boken’s murder.