United States District Court Judge Stephen R. Clark sentenced Anthony D. Jones Jr. to 45 years in prison for fatally shooting a St. Louis woman in 2019 before stealing her car.
In Jones’ plea agreement, he admitted shooting Jessica Vinson in the head and the back on May 4, 2019, in an alley in the 5300 block of Vernon Avenue. After dragging Vinson out of her car, he fired another shot at her head, stole her 2015 Dodge Charger, and drove over Vinson’s arm.
Jones had befriended Vinson after meeting her earlier that morning outside of a club in St. Louis. Jones gave Vinson’s keys to associates, who used those keys to burglarize her home in the 5300 block of Maffitt Avenue, stealing shoes and two televisions.
Two days later, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) officers spotted Vinson’s car and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Jones fled from police at a high rate of speed and crashed near an Interstate 70 exit ramp at Grand Avenue. Jones fled from the vehicle, leaving a gun behind, but was found hiding in a garage and arrested.
While in jail, Jones threatened to kill two witnesses to his crime.
In court Wednesday, Judge Clark called Jones an “exceptionally ruthless person” and “a danger to society.” Judge Clark ordered Jones’ sentence to run consecutive to any prison time he receives if convicted of charges related to an April 15, 2019 shooting as well as for violating his parole in a 2013 gun case.
A Vinson relative told Judge Clark that the 32-year-old was a “kind soul” who was a nursing student and had a promising future.
Jones, 29, of Northwoods, pleaded guilty in December to felony charges of carjacking resulting in death, discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death, and two counts of witness tampering.
Two others involved in the carjacking were sentenced to prison in January. Robyn Harrison, who helped clean Vinson’s car, was sentenced to two and one-half years in prison. Tyeishia Adail, who replaced Vinson’s license plates with temporary tags, was sentenced to four years in prison.
The case was investigated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Jen Szczucinski is prosecuting the case.