Friday, November 20, 2020

Warren County man pleads guilty to attempting to kill to federal officers

 ST. LOUIS, MO – United States District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig accepted guilty pleas today from 38-year-old Elijah Moore of Warrenton, Missouri. Moore pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to kill a federal officer, one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and one count of carjacking.

According to a plea agreement, on July 29, 2019, a Task Force Officer (TFO) with the U.S. Marshals Service went to a residence in Wentzville to assist the St. Charles County Police Department in an attempt to locate a suspect in a Warren County home invasion.

The TFO noticed a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle taken during the home invasion robbery. St. Charles County SWAT found two people and made two arrests. One of those arrested told officers Moore had fled from the residence, tried leaving in the stolen vehicle, but it became stuck in the mud.

Later in the afternoon, a nearby homeowner discovered his home had burglarized and reported several firearms, ammunition and a vehicle as stolen. The TFO and a St. Charles County Police Department detective who was assisting in the operation located Moore later that day.  Moore was the passenger in a blue Mustang driven by a female. The blue Mustang fled from officers at a high rate of speed until it stopped in a gravel parking lot. Moore jumped from the vehicle and fired multiple shots at the officers.

The TFO and detective prepared to return fire; however, the driver of the blue Mustang screamed that there were children in the vehicle. Fearing injury to the children, the officers did not return fire, allowing Moore to escape through the woods while continuing to shoot at officers.  Moore then stole a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck from a nearby business, firing shots to ward off law enforcement and others.  Moore once again fled, shooting at pursing officers.  He eventually crashed, at which time a gun-battle ensued with Moore continuing to fire at officers.  Officers returned fire, striking Moore in the legs.  He was taken into custody and crime scene investigators found nearly two dozen bullets and a revolver containing three fired cartridges and three unfired bullets.

Each charge of attempting to kill a federal officer carries a penalty of no more than 20 years in prison and a fine of no more than $250,000. The charge of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence carries a penalty of no more than life with a fine of no more than $250,000. The carjacking charge carries a penalty of no more than 15 years with a fine of no more than $250,000.

“Today, Elijah Moore entered a plea of guilty from an evening of terror he perpetrated in St. Charles County during the summer of 2019,” said U.S. Marshal John Jordan. “The men and women of area law enforcement including members of the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force are to be commended for their unwavering bravery of capturing this dangerous felon and bringing him to justice.”

“There is simply no place whatsoever in our society for shooting at law enforcement officers,” said U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen. “Those who engage in these violent acts against our officers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Judge Fleissig has set sentencing for February 25, 2021 at 10:00 am. The plea agreement provides that Moore will request a sentence of 25 years and the government will request a sentence of 35 years.      

The St. Charles County and Wentzville Police Departments and United States Marshals Service investigated this case.

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