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St. Louis man gets 15-year prison term in deadly shooting

St. Louis man gets 15-year prison term in deadly shooting

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ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering a man in the city's Mount Pleasant neighborhood three years ago.

Terence J. Cohen, 26, of the 4600 block of Minnesota Avenue, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the July 8, 2018, fatal shooting of Lionel White.

Terence Cohen

Terence Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in the July 2018 homicide of Lionel White in St. Louis.

Witnesses saw Cohen holding a gun and chasing White, 27, behind a home where Cohen fatally shot him, police said. White was found on the ground hear Michigan and Minnesota avenues. Police followed his blood trail to the scene of the shooting near Cohen's home.

Cohen was initially charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action but pleaded guilty to the lesser murder charge Tuesday before Circuit Judge Clinton Wright. 

The judge accepted Cohen's plea and sentenced him to 15 years.

White's mother, Leslie Shanklin, said in court Tuesday that she is grateful "for some type of justice but not the justice I wanted." 

"Fifteen years is not enough because you took a life," Shanklin told Cohen in court. "He had a choice, a responsibility and he needs to suffer the consequences of the choice he made."

Shanklin said her son was originally from St. Louis, but had moved to Texas and was visiting relatives here when he was killed. She said her son and Cohen had grown up together and that she still doesn't know why Cohen shot him. 

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