Jerell Henderson, 31, of Saint Louis, Missouri, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance; one count of conspiracy to possess one or more firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking; and one count of possession, brandishing, and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking resulting in the death of 26-year-old Ladareace Pool on October 3, 2017. Henderson entered his guilty plea in front of U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Autrey prior to the start of jury selection in Henderson’s federal jury trial slated to begin this morning.
According to the plea agreement, Henderson and his associates were involved in drug trafficking at 4739 Goodfellow Boulevard on October 3, 2017. While there, Henderson and his associates came into contact with victim Ladareace Pool. Henderson and four of his associates agreed to and did, rob the victim at gunpoint of drugs and money. Henderson and two others specifically committed the robbery. During the robbery, the victim attempted to run away. As the victim ran, the victim was shot twice in the back and died as a result of his gunshot injuries.
The drug and firearm conspiracy charges carry maximum terms of 20 years imprisonment. Henderson faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years to life for the firearm charge resulting in death. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
The sentencing date has been set for July 13, 2022. The United States intends to present evidence at sentencing regarding Henderson’s firearm possession and discharge of that firearm at the victim on October 3, 2017.
Three of Henderson’s co-defendants, Stephan Jones, Larenta Jones, and Floyd Barber, have previously been convicted in this matter.
“This investigation exemplifies the hard work and close coordination between our local and federal partners to ensure that each person involved in crime, particularly the most violent crime, is held accountable for their actions,” said U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming after the proceedings. “Whether a case is five days or five years old, we continue to work with the dedicated members of law enforcement to pursue justice for crime victims and their families.”
This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are investigating this case.