Posted on: March 15, 2022, 01:31h.
Last updated on: March 15, 2022, 01:31h.
A 59-year-old Missouri man — charged with robbing a woman three years ago in the Hollywood Casino St. Louis parking garage — entered a special kind of plea in local court this week.
Kevin Shumpert announced in court he was entering his admission under a blind Alford plea, KTVI, a local TV station, reported. It means he admits prosecutors have the evidence to prove his guilt, though he does not admit guilt, the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office explained in a statement.
He did not negotiate the plea with prosecutors. He was charged with second-degree robbery for the March 14, 2019 hold-up in the Maryland Heights casino. Shumpert is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2.
Kicked, Punched Victim
Prosecutors said Shumpert went up to the victim. He allegedly kicked her legs. Shumpert also allegedly repeatedly punched her in the face.
She suffered bruises on her face. There were also swelling and cuts. He allegedly fled the garage with her purse.
This defendant gambled that he could rough up a woman and snatch her purse and get away with it, but he lost,” St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said in the statement. “At least with this guilty plea, the victim in this case has been spared the trauma of testifying at trial, and hopefully this will bring her closure.”
Injuries After Concert
In an unrelated 2019 incident, a Jefferson City, Missouri man died after being hit by a chair tossed by staff at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in St. Louis in the aftermath of a concert by the Dave Matthews Band, according to a lawsuit filed in 2020.
Jasen Smith, 44, attended the event with his wife, Darcy Smith, and friends on May 15, 2019 at the casino venue. After the concert, the couple and their friends left the venue, at which point Darcy Smith realized she had left behind her souvenir T-shirt commemorating the performance.
Jasen Smith went back to retrieve it, just as employees were collapsing hundreds of chairs that had been set up on the lawn, says the wrongful death lawsuit, filed on behalf of Darcy Smith.
Smith was walking through a pedestrian walkway when he was hit by one of the chairs, which caused him to stumble backwards and hit his head on concrete. The suit claims Hollywood Casino Amphitheater staff were slow to come to Smith’s aid because they assumed he was drunk.
Concerned about her husband’s whereabouts, Darcy Smith rang his cellphone, which was eventually answered by a paramedic, who informed her he was unconscious and bleeding from his ear.
Smith died the next day in a local hospital of a brain injury. Doctors determined he suffered a blunt force injury to the back of his head that fractured his skull.
The Hollywood Casino St Louis is a Penn National Gaming property, but the amphitheater is owned by Live Nation, a global concert promotion and ticketing company and venue owner. Thus, the lawsuit accuses Live Nation — not Penn National — of negligence resulting in wrongful death. It is unknown if the lawsuit has been resolved.