Sentonio Cox, 15, and his family

Sentonio Cox, 15, right, with twin brother Antonio and mother Roxzyanna Edwards.

ST. LOUIS — A second man was charged Tuesday in last month’s killing of 15-year-old Sentonio Cox in St. Louis.

Prosecutors charged Brian Lee Potter, 47, of the 7100 block of Vermont Avenue, with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Brian Potter

Brian Potter was charged Sept. 17, 2019, in connection with the fatal shooting 15-year-old Sentonio Cox in St. Louis.

Sentonio is among more than a dozen children or teens 17 and younger killed in St. Louis since April, more than double the number killed last year. Six children have died of gunshot wounds in St. Louis County this year.

Joseph Renick

Joseph Renick was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting death of Sentonio Cox, 15.

Late last month, prosecutors accused Joseph Renick, 54, of St. Louis, of shooting Cox on Aug. 25 in the 7300 block of Vermont Avenue as the teen was backing away with his hands raised. Sentonio died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Potter and Renick are the only suspects to be charged thus far in connection with the shooting deaths of children this year in the city.

Charging documents in Potter’s case say Potter and Renick emerged from a home in that block “to confront Sentonio Cox” and another person identified only by initials. The person with Sentonio ran.

“Defendant aggressively walked towards Sentonio Cox, forcing Sentonio Cox across the street, up a hill and into a vacant lot,” wrote Detective Thomas Mayer Sr. in a probable cause statement.

Renick was behind Potter as they approached the teen, whose “hands were raised as he backed away from” the men. Potter told Renick to “shoot this piece of (expletive).”

Renick then fatally shot the teen, charges say.

Court records say Potter has a felony 1995 conviction of assault in St. Louis. He also has convictions for illegal drug possession in St. Louis in 2004, 2007 and 2008. Potter pleaded guilty to illegal gun possession in 2010 in St. Louis County and received a two-year prison term. He also pleaded guilty in 2010 in federal court in St. Louis to being a felon in possession of a gun and received a 30-month prison term.

Potter has pending charges in Jefferson County of driving on a revoked license, and drug and paraphernalia possession, court documents say. Those charges say that on Oct. 19, 2017, a sheriff’s deputy who stopped Potter near Arnold saw him toss a pill bottle out the window of his pickup truck. Court documents say lab tests revealed 28 pills of Xanax inside the bottle. Deputies said they also found marijuana stuffed in a black cologne box in his truck and methamphetamine in a clear plastic bag on Potter.

Potter also has a pending 2017 case of failing to pay child support in St. Francois County. Those charges say he was behind more than $13,800 in child support.

Potter was ordered held without bail. Renick remains jailed on a $500,000 cash bail.

Coverage of children who died in the St. Louis area in 2019

These are the local incidents of homicide or neglect involving children, based on Post-Dispatch reporting. This list doesn't include children killed in car accidents (unless a criminal charge was filed) or incidents not being investigated by homicide detectives.

Kennedi Powell and her neighborhood friends had just swarmed her father’s car for a piece of pizza Sunday evening when a white car drove past,…

Kristina Curry, 16, was found dead just before 5 a.m. Thursday on a rear parking lot at Roosevelt High School at 3230 Hartford Street, police said. 

Kayden Johnson, 2, and his mother Trina’ty Riley, 18, were found dead with gunshot wounds shortly before midnight in their home in the 5900 bl…

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