Two men plead guilty to Jefferson County, Missouri carjacking

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Two men have admitted their involvement in a 2020 carjacking in Jefferson County, Missouri that permanently injured the victim.

Matthew Carver, 31, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis Monday to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Brandon Vandoren, 29, of St. Louis County, pleaded guilty November 8 to one count of carjacking.

Both men admitted that on May 20, 2020, they arrived at a Jefferson County, Missouri MotoMart gas station and convenience store in a stolen Dodge Dart, intending to steal a vehicle. Carver was driving and dropped off Vandoren, who got into a Saturn Aura and began driving away. The Aura’s driver, who was inside the store, ran outside and threw a Coke can at the Aura. Vandoren hit the victim with the Aura and fled. The victim nearly died due to the carjacking and has been left with permanent injuries. 

Both vehicles then fled from law enforcement. Carver ultimately crashed, fled on foot, and was captured after resisting arrest, his plea says.

The next day, officers found the Aura at America’s Best Value Inn in St. Louis County. They arrested Vandoren when he answered their knock on his motel room door and found a firearm in the room, his plea says. Vandoren is a convicted felon and is thus barred from possessing a firearm.

Carver and Vandoren are scheduled to be sentenced in February. The carjacking charge carries a potential penalty of up to 25 years in prison. Carver’s felon in possession charge carries a potential penalty of up to ten years in prison.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassandra Wiemken is prosecuting the case.