Two federal indictments charge five with drug-related homicides; - KMOV.com

Two federal indictments charge five with drug-related homicides; victims' family speaks

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Police on the scene of the triple homicide on Itaska on March 27. Police on the scene of the triple homicide on Itaska on March 27.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Five people were indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday in relation to two separate drug-related homicides within the city of St. Louis.

Three individuals were charged with their roles in the triple homicide of James Lacey, Paige Schaefer and Tammie Thurmond on March 27.

Lacey and Schaefer were found shot and killed inside a home in the 4400 block of Itaska in south St. Louis. Thurmond, Schaefer's mother, was found in an alley behind the 4200 block of South 37th Street and later died at the hospital.

Read: Mother of Bevo Mill homicide victim shot, killed in Dutchtown

Jacobi Temple, Demante Syms and Samuel Spires, all 23, were charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, to possess a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and possession and use of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, which resulted in the murder of Thurmond, according to the Department of Justice.

"I'm glad that the justice process is going to start, I'm happy and said," Schaefer's father Dan Schaefer said. "This was my baby girl, it's extremely difficult. His mother didn't deserve that, Jimmy didn't deserve that, it's been horrible."

Dan Schaefer said he was confident those responsible for the shooting would be caught.

Temple was additionally charged with the possession and use of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, resulting in the murders of Lacey and Schaefer.

The other indictment was concerning the December 2010 slaying of Michael Hayes and charges 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. and 36-year-old Jerry B. Chambers for their involvement in the fatal shooting.

Hayes was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound in his home in the 4500 block of Alice in north St. Louis on December 18, 2010. 

Hayes' family said neighbors spotted two people breaking into his apartment on the night of his death. Hayes came home and confronted the men, neighbors said, before gunshots were heard.

Both Wallace and Chambers with charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute marijuana and possession and use of a firearm in furtherance of their drug trafficking, which resulted in the murder of Hayes, according to the DOJ.

A statement from St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson on the indictments read:

"Our partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office has led to today’s announcement of the indictment of five suspects in connection with homicide investigations in the City of St. Louis. The coordinated effort with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office presents more options in seeking prosecution of our City's most violent offenders, ultimately making the streets of our community safer. Several other cases are currently being investigated by our department in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office."

If convicted, all five defendants face possible life sentences in prison.

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