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Third teen charged in hammer killing of Bosnian immigrant in St. Louis

Third teen charged in hammer killing of Bosnian immigrant in St. Louis


ST. LOUIS • A third teenager has been charged in the hammer slaying of Bosnian immigrant Zemir Begic in the city’s Bevo Mill neighborhood.

Juan Carlos Fabian-Lutz, 16, was certified as an adult and charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

He was ordered jailed in lieu of $1 million cash-only bail.

Police say that about 1:15 a.m. on Nov. 30, Fabian-Lutz and three other teens exchanged words as Begic, his girlfriend and two other friends walked past them and got in Begic’s car parked near Gravois Avenue and Itaska Street.

Police said one of the teens jumped on the back of Begic’s car and began hitting it.

Begic then got out and exchanged more words with the teens.

He was attacked and struck with what police said was more than one hammer.

Darrian Johner, 16, of the 3500 block of Minnesota Avenue, was charged in February in the fatal beating. Robert Mitchell, 17, turned himself in to police less than 24 hours after the incident and has been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

A fourth suspect identified in court records only as “T.K.” has not been charged in Begic’s death.

Begic was killed amid elevated racial tension in the St. Louis area about a week after a grand jury decided not to indict a white Ferguson police officer for fatally shooting a unarmed black teenager. Some claimed that Begic was attacked because he was Bosnian; the suspects are white, black and Hispanic, according to authorities. Police said the investigation has not revealed a racial motive.

Fabian-Lutz lives in the 4100 block of Eichelberger Street.

Begic’s youngest brother, Rasim Begic, 20, of Waterloo, Iowa, said he and his family are hoping for justice.

“It’s not easy looking at the pictures of the boys who killed my brother,” he said in an email.

“And I wish it never happened. We as a family miss him a lot. He will live within us forever.”

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