Driver of stolen East St. Louis police car charged with murder in fatal crash

2012-10-05T13:53:00Z 2013-03-18T16:24:48Z Driver of stolen East St. Louis police car charged with murder in fatal crashBY JOEL CURRIER 314-340-8256

ST. CLAIR COUNTY • Prosecutors today charged a Centreville man with murder and other charges in a fatal crash Wednesday involving a stolen police car.

State's Attorney Brendan Kelly charged Ricky Raper, 42, of the 8600 block of Belleview Avenue, with first-degree murder and two counts of possessing a stolen motor vehicle. He was being held at the St. Clair County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bail.

Police say Raper was on a Metro bus at 80th and State streets about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and refused to pay a fare. He appeared impaired by alcohol or drugs, authorities said. When police were called to remove him from the bus, he darted into the police car and drove off. Police said he sped away for about 10 blocks before hitting two cars, killing Maxsimillion Quarles-Gaston, 41, of Belleville, and injuring a man.

Quarles-Gaston, who was driving a Mercury Sable, died at the crash scene.

She had been recently married and was studying for a doctoral degree and working as a therapist with veterans, relatives said.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect spelling of Ricky Raper's name. The story has been corrected.

Joel Currier is a breaking news reporter for and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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