State of Missouri v. Andre D. Morrow

968 S.W. 2d 100 (Mo.banc 1998)

10/28/03 – Death sentence commuted to life without parole by Missouri Supreme Court.

Case Facts: On April 10, 1994, twenty-four year old Andre Morrow was introduced to Richard Gooch. Gooch’s apartment in St. Louis was known as a safe place where people could smoke cocaine in “quietness and peacefulness.” Morrow took advantage of this atmosphere and smoked cocaine with Gooch for much of the afternoon. Eventually, Morrow left Gooch’s “to go get some money.”

In the early hours of April 11, 1994, Morrow went to an Amoco gas station and stole Lisa Smith’s Chevy Nova, while Smith paid for her gasoline. Morrow returned to Gooch’s with Smith’s car and a black purse. Informing Gooch that he was going to get more money, Morrow left and traveled to Northwest Plaza. Still in Smith’s car, Morrow drove close to Yn Ye Kuo-who was walking towards the restaurant where she worked- and asked, “Where’s the Sears?” Morrow then grabbed her purse and drove away. Morrow returned to Gooch’s later that morning with Kuo’s purse and about $500. He told Gooch, “Pops, when I go for it-when I go get it, I get it.” He then gave Gooch $40. Gooch and Morrow passed the remainder of the day smoking cocaine.

The following afternoon Morrow and his friend Mario Page abandoned Smith’s car and stole Robert Herod’s Fiero from in front of Herod’s apartment, Later that afternoon, Morrow and Page purchased a .38 caliber pistol. The two then traveled to the corner of Cora and Maragaretta in the City of St. Louis, and saw eighteen year old Roamel Abercrombie. Abercrombie was walking to a nearby store to purchase some orange juice. He was carrying one dollar. Morrow got out of the car, approached Abercrombie, and said “Give me all your shit, Give me all you got. If you want I’ll shoot your ass.” Morrow fired a shot into the air, scattering the people in the area. Morrow marched Abercrombie to a nearby vacant lot and demanded his money. Abercrombie gave Morrow his dollar. Morrow took Abercrombie farther into the lot and murdered him, shooting him in the back of the head. Morrow then told Page that they needed to get out of town, They drove to Belleville, Illinois, where they left Herod’s car and stole Fred Maston’s Oldsmobile Cutlass. They later returned to Gooch’s with more cocaine. Morrow explained to Gooch that he had gotten into a misunderstanding with regards to a drug deal and he had to “put the little guy to sleep.”

After several more car thefts, Morrow entered into an altercation with John Koprowski as Morrow was trying to steal his jeep. Koprowski responded that, “I’m not going to let you do this” and grabbed Morrow’s gun. He attempted to fight off Morrow and Page, who were both biting him. Morrow regained control of the gun and grabbed Koprowski’s keys from the ground. Koprowski remained on the ground. As Morrow stood above Koprowski, he shouted “Get up, you son of a bitch”-then he shot Koprowski once in the head. The bullet entered his head just above the tip of his nose and traveled through his body until it came to rest between his ribs. Morrow and Page jumped into the jeep and before leaving observed that he was still alive. Koprowski bled to death from the gunshot wound.