Rioter Who Killed Retired Police Captain Gets Life In Prison
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 03: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany notes the deaths of several police officers during a news conference, including retired St. Louis Police Captain David Dorn, in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House June 03, 2020 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day, Defense Secretary Mark Esper broke with President Donald Trump and said that he does not support using active duty military troops on the streets of American cities to quell protests over the death of George Floyd, who was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Stephan Cannon, 26, was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison for the murder of retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn — and an additional 30 years for other crimes.

A Missouri jury convicted Cannon of first-degree murder — which took place during the riots that occurred in downtown St. Louis on June 2, 2020 — in July of 2022. He was also convicted on several other counts: first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, stealing $750 or more, unlawful possession of a firearm and three counts of armed criminal action, all of which are felonies under Missouri law.

On Wednesday, as reported by local NBC affiliate KSDK, Judge Theresa Counts Burke handed down a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder — and added on the maximum sentences for the other convictions as well.

“This is the maximum sentence the law allows,” Counts Burke said during the sentencing, adding, “Your life does continue on and this is a choice you have to make, how do you continue on?”

Dorn’s son, Brian Powell, gave a statement during the hearing as well, pleading with Cannon to use the experience to turn his life around and make himself an example for other young men while in prison.

“I hope your eyes are woke. You still have time to get everything together and make amends with your maker,” he said, going on to note that his father’s life of service had inspired him and his brother to serve the community as well.

“We saw kids just like Stephan Cannon, and we tried our best to help as many kids as we can. We used to beat ourselves up and my mom, she said, ‘You can’t save everyone,'” he continued. “And this is one of the young men that fell through the cracks. But he has time to try to get his life back on track. He may not ever see the light of day, but if he’s inside, he can definitely share with the other young men that may go to prison. Just share something that can turn them on the straight and narrow.”

“So I’m glad justice was served today. It’s just sad. No one wins in this situation. Everybody is hurt. We’re hurt. His family’s hurt. No one wins. But we are just glad that justice prevailed today,” he concluded.

Dorn’s widow, Ann Dorn, was a bit less charitable to her husband’s killer. “He became a victim of the very thing he fought against,” she said, adding that Cannon would have to seek God’s forgiveness because she could not give him hers.

“Today I chose to be a survivor. I cannot live my life as a victim,” she added, noting that the incident had left her with PTSD and forced her into early retirement from the police force.

To Cannon, she said: “I’ll never give you a second thought.”

She then asked the judge to deliver the maximum sentence — which she did.

Dorn was killed when he went to a friend’s pawn shop in an effort to protect it from rioters swarming the streets of the city after George Floyd was killed while in Minneapolis police custody. As he approached the store, Cannon fired ten shots at Dorn.

Cannon’s legal team has promised to appeal his conviction, and even as he apologized to Dorn’s family for their loss, he insisted that he had not been the one to kill the retired officer.

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