A bond hearing was held Tuesday for a local man charged with the murder of a Park Hills woman last month.
Jasson McCormick, 34, of Farmington, is one of two men charged on Dec. 30, 2019, with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, stealing, and stealing a motor vehicle.
McCormick has been held custody without bond since his arrest last month and the court heard arguments for and against a bond being set in the case from Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Courtney Goodwin and Public Defender Sarah Jackson.
The defense argued that it was unfair to hold McCormick without bond, noting that the other defendant in the case — Dylan Murray, 20, of Valles Mines — had a cash-only bond set at $1 million.
The prosecution brought up the fact that McCormick had a more extensive criminal history than his co-defendant, citing eight prior felonies and approximately six instances of failing to appear in court.
The court reviewed McCormick under Supreme Court Rule 33 and set a bond at $1 million, cash-only. If released on bond, the court ordered that McCormick be placed on house arrest.
The charges were filed after the body of a Park Hills woman was found in her apartment, and authorities questioned the two men.
According to a probable cause statement by the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department, on Dec. 26, 2019, at 4:58 p.m., officers with the Park Hills Police Department were dispatched to an apartment on Seventh Street to check the well-being of a female identified as 38-year-old Jessica Cerchi.
The woman's family members had not heard from her in an excessive amount of time and notified local authorities.
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When officers arrived on the scene, they reportedly detected an odor that they believed to be from the decomposition of a body. Upon entering the apartment, officers located an apparent crime scene and the body of a female.
Officers obtained a search warrant and the crime scene was processed. It was while processing the crime scene that it became apparent that a homicide had taken place.
It is reported that an autopsy was performed on Dec. 27, 2019, which revealed the victim suffered from more than 20 puncture wounds and had evidence of apparent ligature strangulation.
Further information was developed that the victim's vehicle, a 1998 Ford Expedition, was missing. Through further investigation, it was determined that the vehicle was involved in a traffic accident in Jefferson County on Dec. 11, 2019, at approximately 8:55 a.m., where two men were occupying the SUV. The men were identified as McCormick and Murray.
McCormick was interviewed at the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department where he admitted being at the scene at the time of the incident and advised that Murray assaulted and stabbed the victim on Dec. 9, 2019, between 3 and 6:30 a.m. During Murray's interview, he indicated that McCormick attacked and stabbed the woman.
Following the homicide, McCormick and Murray reportedly took the victim's vehicle and traveled out of state to a casino, using a credit device and EBT card belonging to the victim. They returned to Missouri, at which point they wrecked the vehicle in Jefferson County.
Both men are currently in custody at the St. Francois County Jail.
Court records show that McCormick and Murray have previous criminal convictions.
Murray was convicted in September of first-degree burglary and second-degree assault in Jefferson County for which he received probation, with probation revocation pending.
McCormick has an extensive criminal history with convictions going as far back as 2004 and including assault, resisting arrest, stealing, forgery, tampering with a motor vehicle, among other convictions.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com