TownNews.com Content Exchange

ST. LOUIS — Federal prosecutors are seeking a 10-year prison term for a former St. Louis police officer accused of a role in the beating of an undercover colleague during anti-police violence protests in 2017.

In a sentencing memo filed Tuesday, prosecutors called Dustin Boone's actions and words, "damning," saying Boone held down Detective Luther Hall as another officer beat Hall and bragged about other acts of violence he committed while in uniform.

Boone's lawyer Justin Kuehn declined to comment Wednesday, saying Boone's sentencing memo would be filed next week and would "speak for itself."

Dustin Boone

Former St. Louis police officer Dustin Boone arrives at the Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse in St. Louis on Thursday, June 17, 2021. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

Hall was working undercover on the night of Sept. 17, 2017, documenting activities by protesters and rioters. Boone and the officers with him mistook Hall for a protester, but prosecutors have said Hall was doing nothing wrong and officers had no probable cause to detain or arrest him. 

In their memo, prosecutors say the recommended sentencing guidelines call for the 10-year sentence, and Boone will likely ask for less.

They cited a series of factors justifying the harsher sentence. Boone "reveled" in his assignment on the Civil Disobedience Team, seeing it as an opportunity to beat protestors. In one text message he wrote, “… it’s gonna be a lot of fun beating the hell out of these (expletive) once the sun goes down and nobody can tell us apart!!!!”

Boone used FaceTime to broadcast his actions to his then-girlfriend on the night Hall was beaten, seeing it as entertainment and a way of showing off to her. He also sent messages to other officers in 2017 and 2018, bragging about beating arrestees, including a juvenile, prosecutors said.

Text messages in federal indictment 1 of 3

Three pages of the 11 page federal indictment filed against St. Louis police officers Dustin Boone, Randy Hays, Christopher Myers, and Bailey Colletta contains an exchange of some of the text messages the officers sent to each other. 1 of 3

"Defendant had a practice of abusing suspects, both before and after he participated in the assault of Detective Hall. His history supports a stiff prison sentence," they wrote, adding later, "A significant prison sentence will deter other police officers from abusing citizens."

Hall, who was left with permanent injuries from the attack, settled a civil lawsuit against police for $5 million earlier this year.

Luther Hall

St. Louis Police Detective Luther Hall, photographed after a hole in his lip was repaired by a cosmetic surgeon on Sept. 17, 2017.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. attorney's office

In June, a federal jury found Boone guilty of a charge of deprivation of rights under color of law — a civil rights charge. It was the second trial for both Boone and another former officer, Christopher Myers. A different jury, in March, acquitted Myers and Officer Steven Korte of the civil rights charge, and acquitted Korte of a charge of lying to the FBI. They were unable to reach a verdict on some charges against Boone and Myers.

The second jury could not reach a verdict on a charge of destruction of evidence against Myers.

Myers' lawyer has said he would plead guilty in January to a misdemeanor charge of deprivation of rights, admit damaging Hall's phone by throwing it and likely receive probation and no fine, if a judge accepts the deal. 

Prosecutors accused Myers of trying to destroy Hall's cell phone to thwart any future investigation of the assault.

Two former officers pleaded guilty in the case. Randy Hays was sentenced last month to four years and three months in prison for beating Hall. Bailey Colletta was received probation for lying to the FBI and a grand jury about the beating.

Robert Patrick • 314-340-8131

@rxpatrick on Twitter

RPatrick@post-dispatch.com

This article originally ran on stltoday.com.

Locations

TownNews.com Content Exchange

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.