Man Convicted in Killing of Ethiopian Refugee Store Clerk

Sarah Pratcher (right) signs the memorial with her friend Mary Bledsoe outside the closed convenience store on July 8, 2014, where store clerk Abdulrauf Kadir, an Ethiopian refugee was shot and killed. "He was a good person," said Pratcher. (Photo St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

By The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — A man has been convicted in the shooting death of an Ethiopian refugee who was working at a convenience store to earn enough money to bring his wife and children from a refugee camp to St. Louis.

Antonio Muldrew, 41, of St. Louis, was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder and five other charges in the July 2014 death of convenience store clerk Abdulrauf Kadir. He faces a life sentence.

Muldrew shot Kadir three times in the chest and abdomen before going behind the counter himself to make change and sales for patrons as Kadir bled, the Missouri attorney general’s office said in a news release. Muldrew then grabbed cash and lottery tickets from the register and counter and fatally shot Kadir in the head twice when he sought help from customers.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who prosecuted the case, said Muldrew told police, “He was going to die anyway. I wanted to make sure he was dead. He said he had two kids but I didn’t care,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Muldrew didn’t testify this week. His public defender, Sharon Turlington, did not dispute that Muldrew killed Kadir but argued the evidence supported a second-degree murder conviction. She told the jury he was a regular customer of the store and was desperate to get money for his pregnant girlfriend.

Kadir had immigrated to the United States from Kenya after fleeing his home country of Ethiopia in the midst of a civil war. Schmitt said in the release that his life was “unnecessarily and brutally cut short.”


Related:

St. Louis man found guilty in 2014 deadly robbery of Ethiopian refugee


Abdulrauf Kadir, third from the right, was fatally shot in 2014 in St. Louis. He was an Ethiopian refugee working to bring his wife, Kuzeyma, daughter Samira and son, Omar, to the United States. Photo and names provided by the Missouri Attorney General’s office.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — A jury has found a St. Louis man guilty of gunning down an Ethiopian refugee who was working to bring his wife and two young children here from Africa.

After deliberating for about 90 minutes Wednesday, jurors found Antonio Muldrew, 41, guilty of first-degree murder, robbery, assault and three counts of armed criminal action in the July 6, 2014, killing of Abdulrauf Kadir.

Muldrew fatally shot Kadir, 32, a convenience store clerk, about 3:25 p.m. and robbed the store of cash and lottery tickets.

Kadir had lived in St. Louis only eight months when he was shot to death while working as a clerk at his cousin’s corner market at 3404 Chippewa Street. At the time of his death, Kadir was working two jobs in St. Louis to send money to his wife and two young children waiting to come to St. Louis from a refugee camp in Kenya.

Surveillance video of the shooting showed Muldrew standing in the store for several minutes, smoking a cigarette and talking on his cellphone before shooting Kadir three times in the chest with a .25-caliber pistol.

Muldrew then looted the cash register and pretended to be the store’s clerk for other customers as Kadir lay bleeding on the floor. Kadir begged for his life, told Muldrew about his wife and two children and said he could take everything he wanted, including a 9 mm pistol behind the counter. Muldrew did so and shot Kadir twice in the head, killing him.

Muldrew then walked back to his apartment a couple of blocks south on Louisiana Avenue and hid the guns, cash and lottery tickets. Police arrested him a short time later when he returned to the shooting scene.

Muldrew initially denied involvement but later confessed, telling police, “He was going to die anyway. I wanted to make sure he was dead. He said he had two kids but I didn’t care.”

Evidence at trial included the cigarette butt Muldrew left in the store, which had his DNA on it, the two pistols and lottery tickets seized at his apartment, and Muldrew’s clothing and shoes with Kadir’s blood on it.

Muldrew did not testify this week. Muldrew’s public defender, Sharon Turlington, did not dispute that Muldrew killed Kadir but argued the evidence supported a conviction of second-degree murder. She told the jury he was a regular customer of the store and was desperate to get money for his pregnant girlfriend.

Prosecutors announced in 2015 that they would seek the death penalty but withdrew that option after several mental evaluations found Muldrew “intellectually disabled” but competent to stand trial. His public defender told the court Muldrew has an IQ between 65 and 70.

Muldrew’s sister, Aurtisha Volrie, 39, of Los Angeles, said in an interview that her brother, who she said suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, belongs in a mental hospital, not prison. She believes the criminal justice system failed him by not forcing him to continue prescribed medication after he was paroled from a Missouri prison in 2013, and by finding him mentally competent for trial.

“He’s not the monster they’re proclaiming him to be,” Volrie said, adding that their oldest brother was fatally shot in Los Angeles in 1992. “I hurt for Kadir’s family because I know what it’s like to lose a loved one to gun violence.

“The system just robbed me of my brother,” she continued.

Muldrew had fathered 13 children, Volrie said. His youngest was born weeks after his arrest for Kadir’s death.

The case was prosecuted by Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office instead of Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner because of a conflict of interest with a former top assistant.

When Muldrew is sentenced Feb. 21 by Circuit Judge Michael Mullen, Muldrew will receive the mandatory sentence of life without parole.


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