Prosecutor Stands by Cornell McKay Conviction
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The prosecutor is defending his handling of the case of Cornell McKay—the St. Louis man sentenced to 12 years in prison for a cell phone robbery he claims another man committed.
“Many defendants continue to deny their culpability in cases,” Assistant Circuit Attorney Steve Capizzi says. “I would say that’s the norm.”
Capizzi says the jury got it right—Cornell McKay did rob a woman at gunpoint in the Central West End, taking her cell phone and $50.
“I’m firmly convinced, convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, that this is the right man,” Capizzi says.
He says he stands by the conviction of McKay, even though the jury didn’t get to hear evidence that the man whose girlfriend ended up with the stolen phone, Keith Esters, later admitted to killing SLU volleyball graduate Megan Boken in a separate cell phone robbery about a week later.
The phone was used repeatedly to call Esters’ girlfriend Kailin Perry, who ended up having the phone for several days.
“I can’t understand a scenario where that kind of evidence would ever come into a trial,” Capizzi says. “That would be propensity evidence. That’s not allowed in the state of Missouri or in the United States. Propensity for crimes to commit other crimes is just simply not allowed.”
Capizzi says the strongest evidence in the case against McKay was two witnesses, the victim and her husband, who both independently identified McKay as the robber.
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