St. Louis Woman Sentenced to 20 Years for Killing Her Sister

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Sylvia Brown pleaded guilty to killing her sister. - COURTESY ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE
  • COURTESY ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE
  • Sylvia Brown pleaded guilty to killing her sister.


A St. Louis County woman who killed her sister in 2018 was sentenced today to twenty years in prison.



Sylvia Brown, 60, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the shooting of 59-year-old Brenda Brown.

The sisters lived together in the 2500 block of Dukeland Drive, an unincorporated part of the county between Florissant and Spanish Lake. On September 10, 2018, county police stopped by their home after someone who knew Browns grew worried and asked officers to check on them.



Inside the ranch-style house, police found Brenda Brown's body, but her younger sister was gone. Sylvia Brown was originally considered missing and possibly in danger, but when police found her, she admitted that she had murdered her sister.

She told investigators that she was in debt and hadn't wanted to tell Brenda Brown. Sylvia Brown said she had originally planned the killing as a murder-suicide but fled after shooting her sister. 

She was originally charged with first-degree murder, but pleaded to the lesser charge as part of a deal with St. Louis County prosecutors that led to the twenty-year sentence.

"I'm sorry to cause so much pain," she said by video conference from jail. "I love my sister."

Several of her relatives viewed the proceedings by video from Kansas City and the Metro East, a prosecutors spokesman said. The courts are still closed to in-person trials because of the pandemic.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
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