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Wednesday, July 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Man Charged With|Seeking Cops’ Deaths

ST. LOUIS (CN) - A man offered a $1 million bounty on Craigslist for each Maplewood police officer killed, federal prosecutors say in a court filing.

William Lawrence, 32, of Maplewood, Mo., is charged with use of interstate commerce in the commission of a murder for hire.

Maplewood officers had a run-in with Lawrence on Feb. 6, which resulted in Lawrence being Tasered after he lifted up his shirt, making officers believe he was reaching for a weapon, according to an affidavit filed by Maplewood police Det. Jordan Wicks.

Lawrence was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear. During a search of Lawrence's apartment, officers found and seized marijuana plants, a shotgun and a .22 caliber rifle, Wicks wrote.

After his release, Lawrence repeatedly contacted police asking for his guns back. On March 1, Arnold police Officer John Cobb, notified Maplewood police that he had found an ad on Craigslist offering money in exchange for the murder of Maplewood police, according to Wicks.

The ad, which has been removed, stated: "Wanted dead, all the maplewood city police officers, paying one million per head. two million for detectives 'Kerry Daniels,'" Wicks wrote. Daniels is the department's evidence custodian.

Craigslist provided the name and IP address of the person who posted the ad, which was traced to Lawrence's apartment, according to Wicks. Lawrence was arrested on Friday.

Lawrence's mother, Judy Feist, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that her son wouldn't hurt anybody. Feist said her son suffers from bipolar disorder and depression and his recent anger toward Maplewood stemmed from a DUI case.

She told the Post-Dispatch that the guns that were seized were family heirlooms and she doubted they even worked.

Maplewood is 15 miles east of St. Louis and 7 miles northeast of Kirkwood, the site of a shooting spree on Feb. 7, 2008. Charles "Cookie" Thornton, upset at his perceived treatment by the City of Kirkwood, shot up Kirkwood City Hall, leaving seven dead, including Thornton.

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