A2 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
M 1 • WEDNESDAY • 05.01.2019 M 1 WEDNESDAY • 05.01.2019 • A2
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Catch up on April’s crime stories by clicking on the person’s name for details of why they were in the news. stltoday. com/crime
Just because the Kentucky Derby is coming doesn’t mean mandatory mint juleps. Try Satan’s Whiskers in this week’s Prep School video. stltoday.com/watch
Friday Monday Tuesday
MU sports with Dave Matter, 11 a.m. Ask the Road Crew, 1 p.m. Talk to Metro about MetroLink and buses, noon Tom Timmermann talks Blues, 1 p.m. Talk STL sports with Jeff Gordon, 1 p.m. Talk Cardinals baseball, 1 p.m. Sports columnist Ben Frederickson, 11 a.m.
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LOTTERY Multistate games MEGA MILLIONS Tuesday: 24-37-41-61-70 Mega ball: 20 Megaplier: 3 Estimated jackpot: $229 million POWERBALL Wednesday’s estimated jackpot: $181 million
Missouri lotteries LOTTO Wednesday’s estimated jackpot: $1.1 million SHOW ME CASH Tuesday: 01-14-15-20-24 Wednesday’s estimated jackpot: $134,000 PICK-3 Tuesday Midday: 291 Evening: 476 PICK-4 Tuesday Midday: 5819 Evening: 0816
Illinois lotteries LUCKY DAY LOTTO Tuesday Midday: 02-07-32-33-44 Evening: 03-08-12-21-30 LOTTO Monday: 15-26-35-38-40-47 Extra shot: 17 Thursday’s estimated jackpot: $4 million PICK-3 Tuesday Midday: 126 FB: 4 Evening: 388 FB: 9 PICK-4 Tuesday Midday: 5316 FB: 8 Evening: 6912 FB: 1
An obituary for Better Together, smothered by Stenger’s shadow TONY MESSENGER St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Amid the hubbub of the indictment and resignation of former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger on Monday, a five-year-old suffered a tragic ending to its brief life. Its name was Better Together. Time of death was sometime Monday morning, when the nonproﬁt that hoped to merge the city and the county into a new metro city of St. Louis realized it would never be able to rid itself of the Stenger tumor. The patient had been ill for some time. Signs of medical decline began showing in late January when the nonprofit, the offspring of billionaire philanthropist and political donor Rex Sinqueﬁeld, announced its ballot initiative that would merge the city and the county in a statewide vote in November 2020. Stenger and many of his political operatives who also worked for Better Together were there to lend support. Glorious announcements were made about how the proposal would improve longstanding divides between black and white in the region, and make it easier to carry out racial equity goals outlined in the Forward Through Ferguson report. Like the slow drip of intravenous ﬂuid that in its ﬁnal days was keeping Better Together alive, one by one black leaders criticized the plan and said it was a charade. The Rev. Starsky Wilson, who led the Ferguson Commission that called for more equity in the region, referred to the Better Together proposal as “apartheid.” Other city and county leaders found multiple ﬂaws and questioned its tax-cut schemes. But the Stenger tumor is what metastasized. The proposal not only elevated him to be the first mayor of the new merged city, it did so by suspending an election, and it gave him grand powers over the new charter. This was at a time in which nearly everybody in the political world in and around St. Louis knew that the then-county executive was under federal investigation for various “pay to play” schemes. Better Together’s family — including spokesman Ed Rhode, who had held the same job for Stenger — brushed off such criticism. After all, they knew exactly who Stenger was. They pushed to elect him precisely because of who he was.
ROBERT COHEN, RCOHEN@POST-DISPATCH.COM
Then-St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger talks with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson in January at the beginning of a presentation at the Cheshire hotel by the city-county merger advocacy group Better Together. In that election, remember, Better Together’s parent, Sinquefield, funneled $200,000 through an obscure fire district political action committee called MACFPD, to prop up Stenger’s power by trying to defeat a proposition that would allow the St. Louis County Council to rein him in. Around that same time, using a similar scheme, Sinquefield donated $150,000 to the carpenters union’s political action committee. Shortly after Better Together announced its merger plans, the carpenters donated $125,000 to the effort. Right around the time that the MACFPD fund was catching the eyes of federal investigators, it also gave a $5,000 donation to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, another backer of Better Together. The tumor grew. Eventually, Better Together opted for surgery. In March, its mother, Nancy Rice, said that the initiative would be reﬁled. Stenger would no longer be the ﬁrst unelected mayor. The move had nothing to do with any federal investigation, she said. The same day, Stenger was served with a subpoena, and one of Rice’s board members contradicted her. In April, Better Together underwent an even riskier surgery. It attached itself to John Gaskin. The young president of the county branch of the NAACP held a news conference announcing his organization’s support of the effort. Finally, black support for Better Together!
But there was a problem. Gaskin, who had been given a job by Stenger previously in the county economic partnership that was at the center of the federal investigation, neglected to tell people that Better Together was paying him. He also didn’t tell his board members about his clear conﬂict of interest. Days later, he was suspended from his job by the national president and CEO of the NAACP. Better Together was left on the surgery table, in a pay-for-play coma. Officially, it is being kept alive by a ventilator, though doctors have declared it brain dead. Its heart and lungs are no longer functioning, and it’s impossible to know who is paying for the life-support machine. Better Together’s campaign arm, Unite STL, has filed minimal paperwork with the Missouri Ethics Commission, showing no payments to Rice nor the multitude of campaign operatives working to keep the effort alive. Taxpayers don’t know who is paying the people working for the initiative. Another dark money committee is funding ethics complaints against municipalities for daring to question some of Better Together’s multitude of ﬂaws. After the Stenger indictment, the wife of Better Together spokesman Rhode, Patti Hageman, resigned her position working for the former county executive. Better Together leaves behind no survivors. Send ﬂowers in lieu of cash. Tony Messenger • 314-340-8518 @tonymess on Twitter email@example.com
UMSL students testify in case of sexual assault on campus BY JOEL CURRIER St. Louis Post-Dispatch
CLAYTON — One University of Missouri-St. Louis student said he awoke to being sexually assaulted in the bed of his campus apartment last year. Another said he was molested in his sleep in 2017 and never knew until police — nearly a year later — showed him photos and videos of himself being abused. Bagley The man charged with both crimes is Devonta Bagley, 24, who stands trial this week in St. Louis County Circuit Court on charges of sodomy, burglary and armed criminal action. Prosecutors told jurors in opening statements Tuesday that Bagley was a stranger to both victims and sneaked into their rooms as they slept at the University Meadows apartments in 2017 and 2018. Bagley’s lawyer Joslyn Anthony told jurors that prosecutors were “going to ask you to make some leaps” to ﬁnd him guilty. Anthony said there was no evidence of a break-in, no injuries to either victim and no attempt by at least one alleged victim to report being attacked either to his roommate, who was in the apartment at the time, or to police. Police weren’t summoned, she said, until after the victim told his father of the attack. But both alleged victims identified Bagley as their attacker on Tuesday and offered explicit details: One of them, now 20, testified that he awoke early on March 11, 2018, when Bagley lifted his bedsheets and then told him to remove his clothes. He said Bagley then placed a pistol on the victim’s bare chest and ordered him to masturbate.
Then, he said, Bagley demanded he flip onto his chest, and Bagley raped him. “Why didn’t you take (the gun) and shoot him?” Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Snyder asked the man. “I was scared,” he said. “I didn’t know if it was loaded. There were a million things running through my head. I just wanted to live.” Bagley then took cellphone photos and threatened to post them to social media, the victim testified Tuesday. Bagley also swiped about $50 cash and snapped a picture of the victim’s drivers license before he ﬂed. The other student, 22, attacked Sept. 30, 2017, testiﬁed Tuesday that he is a very deep sleeper, didn’t know Bagley attacked him, and had never seen Bagley before, except in jail photos the police showed him. Two other USML students also reported finding Bagley hiding in the bathroom of their University Meadows apartment about 4 a.m. that same day. Bagley ﬂed after he was found. Prosecutors on Tuesday also elicited testimony of a similar crime at a Kansas State University fraternity house in September 2017. The alleged victim, a 20-year-old Sigma Chi fraternity member, testified that he awoke Sept. 9, 2017, to Bagley performing oral sex on him about 2 a.m. after a house toga party. The KSU student, now 20, said he, too, had never seen Bagley before the attack. Bagley was charged in Riley County, Kan., with aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated burglary. Charges are pending. Bagley is a July 2017 graduate of KSU, ofﬁcials have said. He was an UMSL graduate student before he was expelled in the fall of 2017.
CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS Singer Judy Collins is 80. Singer Rita Coolidge is 74. Singer-bassist Nick Fortuna of The Buckinghams is 73. Actor Dann Florek (“Law and Order: SVU”) is 68. Singersongwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 65. Actor Byron Stewart is Collins 63. Actress Maia Morgenstern (“The Passion of the Christ”) is 57. Actor Scott Coffey (“Mulholland Drive,” “The Outsiders”) is 55. Country singer Wayne Hancock is 54. McGraw Actor Charlie Schlatter (“Diagnosis Murder”) is 53. Country singer Tim McGraw is 52. Bassist D’Arcy Wretzky (Smashing Pumpkins) is 51. Director Wes Anderson is 50. Actress Julie Benz (“No Ordinary Family”) is 47. Singer Tina Campbell of Mary Mary is 45. Actor Darius McCrary (“Family Matters”) is 43. Actor Jamie Dornan (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) is 37. Actress Kerry Bishe (“Argo”) is 35. Actress Lizzy Greene (“A Million Little Things”) is 16. – Associated Press
CORRECTION For information about the Bail Project, the organization’s spokesman Camilo Ramirez directed a PostDispatch reporter to a lawsuit ﬁled by ArchCity Defenders and other groups in January. The lawsuit was described incorrectly in a front-page story on Sunday.