Two cousins are in custody after an alleged murder-for-hire backfired on them last week.
On Thursday, September 23, a homeowner in the 2600 block of James "Cool Papa" Bell Avenue, was summoned to his door around 5:40 a.m. by a man knocking on the door. At first Lawrence Wallace
, 38 of Detroit, said that someone was tampering with the homeowner's car. He then changed his story. Saying he needed help jump-starting his vehicle. Finally he asked the homeowner if he could get a drink of water.
When the 49-year-old homeowner tried to shut the door, Wallace allegedly pulled out a gun and began firing. Little did he know that the homeowner was also armed. He returned fire, striking Wallace in the side.
Moments later St. Louis police picked up Wallace not far from the scene charging him with first-degree assault, armed-criminal action, first-degree burglary and criminal possession of a firearm.
Now new charges have been issued against Wallace and his cousin, Cortez Brown
, 34, of St. Louis accusing them of trying to murder the homeowner for testifying in court.
As the Post-Dispatch reports today
, the men were charged Friday in federal court. According to police, Brown called his cousin, offering him drugs in exchange for killing a court witness. Wallace allegedly asked for $5,000 instead of the drugs.
Around 4 a.m. on September 23 the men picked up a gun from an abandoned house and began waiting outside the home on James "Cool Papa" Bell Avenue. When the homeowner failed to appear after an hour, Wallace grew impatient and decided to go to the door.
Court documents didn't reveal a motive for the attempted hit or give background on the court case in which the homeowner allegedly testified. Wallace reportedly told police that the target had supposedly testified against a relative of the person who arranged the hit. Meanwhile, police believe the homeowner was the wrong man.