ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Two 18-year-old cousins have been charged in the death of a former Saint Louis University volleyball player, who was shot twice during an attempted robbery, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office announced Friday.
Keith V. Esters, of Bel Ridge, and Johnathan Perkins, of St. Louis, were charged in the death of 23-year-old Megan Boken of Wheaton, Ill., St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said.
Esters was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery and armed criminal action. Perkins was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree attempted robbery and armed criminal action. Both suspects have been in custody without bond since Thursday. Online court documents did not list lawyers for either suspect.
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. Saturday. According to police, she was outside an apartment building she used to live while attending the university.
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.
Funeral services Boken were held Thursday in Wheaton, Ill.
After the charges were filed, Crimestoppers said a $40,000 reward being offered for information would go back to the donors since a tip did not directly lead to an arrest.
In a statement released Thursday, Boken’s father praised the hard work of police:
“I understand that the St Louis Police Department apprehended several suspects in this case. We are gratified with the progress in this case and with the efforts of the St Louis Police Department. We also are very appreciative of the efforts of several people in the Central West End who came to our daughter Megan’s aid after the incident. I would like to thank the St Louis Police Department for their hard work and those individuals who have come forward to assist in this case.
I would like to thank the communities of St Michael’s Catholic Church, St Francis High School and Saint Louis University who have been so supportive of our family over the last several days. The services for our daughter took place simultaneously in Wheaton, Illinois at St Michael’s and at Saint Louis University, and were of great comfort to our family.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.