A Missouri man appeared before United States District Court Judge Henry E. Autrey, and based on a previous plea of guilty, Collis Lee, age 25, of St. Louis County, was sentenced to 135 months (11.25 years) in federal prison for the armed robbery of the O’Reilly Auto Parts store in Jennings, Missouri.
According to the plea agreement, Lee and a co-defendant entered the O’Reilly Auto Parts store on Jennings Station Road on December 5, 2020, with guns and announced a robbery. With the robbers’ attention on the two employees, an O’Reilly’s customer fled the store, went to an adjacent store, and asked employees there to call 911. Meanwhile, Lee and his co-defendant proceeded to force the clerks to open as many cash registers as they could. During the robbery, Lee pistol-whipped the clerk several times.
While this was going on, police were responding to the 911 call. Because the St. Louis County SWAT team happened to be on patrol in the area, many police vehicles were nearby, and four police vehicles were in O’Reilly’s parking lot before Lee even left the store. As Lee entered a getaway car to flee, witnesses began pointing officers to the suspects. With Lee driving the sedan he fled the parking lot while being pursued by police. Lee lost control of the sedan while attempting to make a right-hand turn at high speeds. The car drove over the median and t-boned the second car of a three-car funeral convoy. The car into which he crashed was a funeral limousine transporting grieving family members to a funeral home for a funeral service scheduled that morning. Five of the individuals in that limousine were injured in the accident.
This case was investigated by the Saint Louis County Police Department.