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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Missouri

For Immediate Release

Monday, December 20, 2021
Sayler A. Fleming
, United States Attorney

Bridgeton Man Pleads Guilty for Armed Carjacking That Resulted in the Death of the Victim

ST. LOUIS – United States District Court Judge Stephen R. Clark accepted a plea of guilty from Anthony D. Jones, 28, of Bridgeton, Missouri for his role in the May 4, 2019 carjacking and death of Jessica Vinson. Jones was previously indicted by a grand jury in July 2020. Judge Clark set sentencing for April 20, 2022.

According to the plea agreement, on the morning of May 4, 2019, Jessica Vinson was found deceased, her body abandoned in an alley behind the 5300 block of Vernon Avenue, Saint Louis, Missouri, within the Eastern District of Missouri. Vinson was shot twice in the side of the head and once in the back. Her car, a 2015 Dodge Charger, was missing and her home in the 4300 block of Maffitt Avenue had been burglarized.

The investigation into Vinson's murder revealed that in the early morning hours of May 4, 2019, Jones and Vinson met outside of a club in Saint Louis, Missouri. Jones and Vinson did not know each other prior to May 4, 2019. Befriending the victim, Jones drove Vinson's vehicle into the alley behind the 5300 block of Vernon Avenue, Saint Louis, Missouri and shot Vinson in the head and back. Jones then pulled Vinson's body out of the vehicle, fired another shot at Vinson's head, then returned to Vinson's vehicle, entered the driver's side door, and drove away.

On May 6, 2019, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop of Ms. Vinson’s vehicle, which fled at a high rate of speed and eventually crashed near an exit ramp at I-70 and Grand Avenue. Jones fled from the driver’s seat of the vehicle. Police located Jones, who was hiding, and arrested him. Officers also recovered a pistol from the vehicle.

The SLMPD Laboratory identified the fingerprints of Jones on the front driver's window and gas cap. Forensic analysis of clothing located in the vehicle, a bag containing fentanyl, and the airbag (which deployed when Jones crashed the vehicle), identified his DNA as being present on these items. Forensic analysis of the suspected blood in the vehicle identified it as being the victim’s DNA.

Jones admitted that he possessed, brandished, and discharged a handgun during the carjacking as a show of force and violence to take Vinson's vehicle. The handgun Jones discharged during the robbery is a firearm as defined under federal law. Jones possessed, brandished, and discharged the firearm to use deadly force to overcome resistance to the carjacking. Jones, in fact, used deadly force, which caused the death of Vinson.

The investigation also revealed that Jones sent electronic communications threatening to harm individuals who were aware of his violent conduct related to Ms. Vinson. In sending these electronic messages, Jones intended to hinder, delay, and prevent the communication of information to a law enforcement officer relating to his commission of Vinson's carjacking and discharging a firearm in furtherance of Vinson's carjacking.

The case was investigated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Jen Szczucinski is prosecuting the case.

This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, is available on-line at
Twitter: @USAO_EDMO

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