Stephan Cannon found guilty of first-degree murder in David Dorn’s death
ST. LOUIS CITY, Mo. (KMOV) - A jury has found Stephan Cannon guilty of first-degree murder in the 2020 shooting death of retired St. Louis Police Captain David Dorn.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this day, it’s been over two years. the prosecution worked extremely hard, they gave a really good fight. “It was just undoubtable that he was guilty. So we look forward to moving on and our dad resting in peace.” David Dorn’s daughter, Lisa Dorn, said after the verdicts were announced.
The St. Louis City Circuit Attorney’s Office released the following statement following the verdict:
“Based upon the cooperation from an outraged St. Louis community, a collaboration with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office, charges were issued and the case was taken to trial. Today a jury found Mr. Stephan Cannon guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, and three counts of armed criminal action for the tragic death of former SLMPD Captain David Dorn.
While nothing can bring Captain Dorn back to his loved ones, Mr. Cannon has been held accountable for his crimes committed in the City of St. Louis, and justice has been served.”
Cannon’s sentencing is set for Sept. 13.
FINAL DAY OF TRIAL
For the two previous days, state prosecutors built their case in front of the jury by calling on veteran homicide detectives, forensic experts and two crucial witnesses –Mark Jackson and Elicia Beaver. Wednesday, the proceedings began with a delay as state prosecutors asked to recall Beaver to testify again, despite resting their case. Judge Theresa Burke granted the request.
Similar to Tuesday, Beaver told the jury she “didn’t remember” when Teer asked if she recalled when Cannon returned home on June 2, 2020 - the night Dorn was killed outside of Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry.
Teer swiftly asked to treat her as a hostile witness.
“Do you remember him telling you anything about that night or being at Lee’s?”
“Did he tell you that night was crazy?”
“No,” she muttered.
“Do you remember him describing or telling him that ‘it went down at Lee’s’?”
Switching tactics, Teer played audio of Beaver talking to investigators. He quickly paused it to have Beaver confirm her voice on the tape. Beaver recalled “Stephan [Cannon] talking about how crazy the night was and all the things I could have got. He said he went to Lee’s and said some crazy stuff happened there.”
“His words were ‘it went down at Lee’s’,” Beaver said.
Teer paused the audio and approached Beaver.
“Does it accurately reflect what you said to PD?” Teer asked.
“Yes,” Beaver mumbled.
Public Defender Adofo Minka straightened his suit as he walked toward Beaver. From the witness stand, Beaver tells Minka she was driven to the police headquarters by an officer the day she saw Cannon was tackled.
“Did you want to go down there? Did you feel like you didn’t have any choice?” Minka said, alluding that she was intimidated by police.
“No,” she responded.
When asked what she assumed Cannon meant when she heard him say ‘it went down at Lee’s’, she said she thought he meant looting.
DEFENSE CALLS WITNESSES
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Evidence Technician Bradley Walworth was the first to testify for Cannon’s defense. He swabbed 18 areas for blood inside Lee’s Pawn. Seventeen of those samples tested positive. Although it was not indicated whose blood was found, Teer asked a hypothetical question: “If I’m not bleeding, will I leave any blood behind?”
“No,” Walworth said.
Public Defender Brian Horneyer quickly shuffled through his next two witnesses. Mike Lowery with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department testified about swabbing for DNA and powdered for fingerprints inside the pawnshop and in Jackson’s car. A total of 14 items, such as an earring, latex gloves, a bag of Jackson’s dreadlocks, and a tape dispenser, were seized. In addition, nine DNA swabs were collected.
Lowery, who fingerprinted Jackson’s Pontiac G6, said he lifted 10 fingerprints. The prosecution argued, “just because someone leaves a fingerprint, doesn’t make it identifiable?”
A DNA analyst Amy Strothcamp who analyzed more than 100 items, in this case, testified Cannon’s DNA was found only on the hair in the apartment and a cell phone.
After calling three witnesses, the defense rested. Cannon did not take the stand.
Following a short break, jurors were ushered back into the courtroom. Both sides agreed to swap a male juror for an alternate. The deliberating jury consists of nine women and three men.
The group of twelve looked attentively forward as Judge Burke read jury instructions ahead of closing arguments.
Prosecutor Teer was given the floor.
“We are here today because Stephan Cannon took a good man’s life away,” Teer said locking eyes with jurors. ”Over TVs? That’s why you are sitting here.”
He listed off each jury instruction before justifying how the state proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Instruction No. 7 and No. 5. are tricky,” he said. “The reason you are here is because he fired his gun and shot his target down,” Teer said.
The prosecutor then quizzed jurors on what was factual and fiction as his time dwindled down.
“Fact: Defendant said, ‘it went down’ [at Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry].’”
“Fiction: The long gun shooter was the killer. Fact: No evidence shows Dorn was killed by a long gun.”
“Fiction: Someone else killed Dorn. Fact: It was Cannon who shot Dorn,” Teer said.
“Fiction: Cannon’s blood wasn’t found. Fact: He didn’t bleed.”
As Teer walked to his seat, Horneyer got up from his seat and walked to the jury stand. Horneyer began with a phrase that has been uttered through the trial: “I asked you to remember a quote.”
That quote belongs to Jackson.
“I’ll say pretty much anything to get out of these cuffs and get back to my son. I’ll witness whatever you want me to witness,” Jackson said while being interrogated by police.
Horneyer said he’s the only person tying Cannon to Dorn’s murder.
“This is a textbook incident of tying an innocent man to a high-profile case,” Horneyer exclaimed. “Police rushed to get a suspect as quick as they can to make an arrest and charge Cannon.”
Calling Jackson a “serial liar”, he alluded that detectives turned to a man who “lies as easily as he breathes” because of lack of evidence.
“We are not going to allow you to convict a scapegoat to appease the death of Dorn,” he projected.
Cannon’s defense attorney then attempted to pick apart the still image believed to be the 26-year-old.
“Stephan [Cannon] resembles a man whose face was completely covered. A description that matches several in the area. No eyewitnesses. No forensics. And they bully Ms. Beaver,” Horneyer stated.
At 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, the case was given to the jury to start deliberating.
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