US

Suspect Charged After Bragging About Murder on Facebook

By Jane Werrell

A man who allegedly bragged on Facebook about boosting the city’s homicide count has been charged with first-degree murder, according to reports.

Terrell Whiting, 38, from St. Louis, Missouri, was charged with the murder of 33-year-old Rafael Givens.

The Associated Press reported that authorities found that Whiting posted on Facebook shortly after the killing, writing: “Whats the murder count in St. Louis at this moment anyone know!!! #igot3.”

Whiting denied the shooting, and it is unclear if the post meant that he shot three people.

Surveillance video distributed by local police showed a man approaching Givens with a gun, the news agency reported. Several tips lead authorities to Whiting.

According to Fox News, Whiting did admit to owning a 9 mm handgun and having a gun that night.

On Twitter St. Louis police confirmed that, “Relative to the murder of 33-year-old Rafael Givens, officers arrested Terrell Whiting. @stlcaotoday issued one count of Murder 1st Degree and one count of Armed Criminal Action. There is no bond.”

In a separate case last year, Raheem Benson, 18, was convicted of randomly shooting 33-year-old Nicholas Lewis and sentenced to life in prison. The victim’s family said it was a tragic, senseless, and heinous crime. According to The Denver Channel, the district attorney’s office said Benson took to Facebook after the killing.

Crime in the United States

The number of murders and violent crimes committed in the United States dropped slightly in 2017, according to crime statistics released in September 2018.

“Crime declined nationwide last year, consistent with our earlier analyses of 2017 data in the nation’s 30 largest cities,” Ames Grawert, senior counsel for the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice in New York, told the Washington Examiner.

“That’s the good news. The bad news is that even while crime is falling, the number of Americans incarcerated remains near-record highs. Now is the time to address the problem.”

The number of cases of manslaughter and murder dropped 0.7 percent in 2017 from the prior year, the report said.

Rapes rose by 3 percent and aggravated assault rose by 1 percent, but overall violent crimes dropped 0.2 percent, the report added.

In Pennsylvania, in 2017, the “violent crime rate was lower than the national rate last year at 313.3 per 100,000 residents. That includes 739 murders and nonnegligent manslaughters. The murder rate in Pennsylvania was 5.8 per 100,000 people, higher than the national rate of 5.3,” Patch.com reported.

Two Pennsylvania cities were listed as “Murder Capitals of America” in 2018.