DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Jeffrey B. Jensen
, United States Attorney
Contact: Terri L. Dougherty

Man Pleads Guilty to Three Homicides

St. Louis, MO - Jacobi Temple, 27, of Saint Louis, MO, pled guilty yesterday, March 26, 2018, for his killing of James Lacey, Paige Schaefer, and Tammie Thurmond.  Mr. Lacey and Ms. Schaefer were shot and killed inside a residence located in the 4400 block of Itaska in the City of Saint Louis.  Ms. Thurmond was found by police in an alley behind the 4200 block of South 37th Street and died a short time later. 

 

Temple pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and two counts of discharge of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking where deaths resulted.  He appeared before United States District Court Judge John A. Ross.

 

According to court documents, Temple, along with his two co-defendants, Demante Syms and Samuel Spires, traveled in a vehicle to the area of 4467 Itaska Street.  Temple went there to obtain payment for heroin previously distributed by him that had not been paid for.  Temple learned of the 4467 Itaska location from Tammie Thurmond who was the mother of Paige Schaefer.  While inside 4467 Itaska demanding payment, Temple shot and killed James Lacey and Paige Schaefer.  Brittney Brown was shot in the head and severely injured.  Shortly after, Temple, Syms and Spires located Ms. Thurmond.  Temple took Ms. Thurmond to an alley, then shot and killed her. 

 

After being shot in the head inside the Itaska residence, Brittney Brown struggled to, but successfully contacted 911.  Ms. Brown survived but was hospitalized for a significant period of time.  While hospitalized (and continuing after her release), Ms. Brown provided invaluable support and assistance to law enforcement officials.  Following the change of plea proceeding, United States Attorney Jeffrey B. Jensen praised her strength and courage, saying “Brittany Brown is a very courageous young lady who deserves our community’s respect and gratitude.”

 

Temple’s guilty plea caps a three-year investigation and federal prosecution resulting in convictions of all three charged participants.  Syms and Spires previously pleaded guilty on December 2, 2016, and August 25, 2016, respectively.  Sentencing for each of the three co-defendants is as follows: Spires, May 23, 2018; Syms, May 31, 2018; Temple, June 27, 2018. 

 

Likewise, this investigation resulted in the separate prosecution and convictions of Syms and his mother, Tabitha Hunt, for witness tampering in connection with the underlying homicide investigation.  Sentencing of Syms and Hunt on those witness tampering charges will also occur on May 31, 2018.

 

In determining any actual sentence to be imposed, a judge is required to consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges. 

 

This case was investigated as part of the on-going effort between the United States Attorney’s Office, the Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to address the violent crime within the City of Saint Louis.

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Field Division: Kansas City Field Division