2 charged with murder of 5 in apparent Missouri drug robbery

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two men were charged Tuesday with fatally shooting five other men while attempting to rob them of money and drugs inside a vacant St. Louis area apartment building.

Terrance Wesley, 29, and Anthony Watkins Jr., 30, were jailed without bail on five counts each of first-degree murder and attempted robbery and 10 counts of armed criminal action.

Wesley was arrested Monday night after a three-hour standoff about a quarter mile from the boarded-up apartment near Dellwood where the killings happened, while Watkins was taken into custody at police headquarters, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. It wasn't immediately known if they had attorneys.

A St. Louis County police officer wrote in the charging document that Wesley and Watkins forcibly attempted to rob the victims at gunpoint Saturday, then returned and killed them. Police said previously that a person who had been with the victims at the apartment Friday night returned Saturday and found them dead. The dead were identified as Ronald Brewster Jr., 40; Rodney Holt, 37; Rondall Mullin, 65; Derrick Penny, 54 and James Penny, 54.

Wesley's criminal history includes convictions in St. Louis County for burglary and domestic assault. Wesley was sent to prison in July 2010 and released on probation four months later. He returned to custody in 2013 and was released again in January 2014, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections. In 2016, Vinita Park police say he set his girlfriend's car on fire and he was charged with knowingly burning or exploding.

Watkins has a history of drug convictions in the St. Louis area, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to drug possession in St. Louis County in 2010. After completing his sentence in that case, he pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and drug possession of heroin and crack cocaine in St. Louis city. An officer saw him urinating in public and went to arrest him, and he unsuccessfully tried to run away. The arresting officer then found 23 bags of crack cocaine and heroin on him, according to court documents. He finished his probation for those offenses in October 2016, according to court documents.