A St. Paul man has been charged with murder in an attempted robbery turned slaying at a downtown hotel last month.
Anthony Melvin Lamont Curtis Pryor, 20, of St. Paul, was charged in Ramsey County District Court on Friday with second-degree intentional murder and second-degree unintentional murder.
Authorities allege that Pryor shot Alexander Scott Christoff, 37, in the parking ramp of SpringHill Suites on Jackson Street in the early morning hours of Aug. 29. Christoff's friend discovered him at the scene and drove him to Regions Hospital in the victim's bullet-riddled Audi, where he was pronounced dead of gunshot wounds.
According to charges:
A witness told police he was in the parking garage when he saw a Mercedes-Benz drive past slowly, then continue on. Moments later he heard a crash followed by gunshots and moaning before the Mercedes-Benz squealed off. The witness came upon his friend and drove him to the hospital.
Surveillance video from the parking ramp showed Christoff leaving and returning to the parking ramp throughout the evening, tailed at times by a Mercedes-Benz carrying a passenger wearing a bright white Covid mask, a dark hoodie and a bucket hat.
The video showed the man in the hoodie entering an elevator on the ramp's third floor with what appeared to be a gun and later exiting the elevator. Police used other video to identify him as Pryor and tracked the Mercedes-Benz to an auto body shop in Hopkins, where there was damage to the left side. Police arrested Pryor on Sept. 15.
In an interview, Pryor allegedly admitted to police that "he didn't kill anyone and that it wasn't supposed to go down like that — it was a simple robbery." He said he planned to rob Christoff of drugs, money, jewelry and the Audi after a friend asked him to help with "this lick."
That friend and another man picked Pryor up in the Mercedes-Benz, he said, admitting that it was him in surveillance footage. He claimed he and another man fired shots after Christoff refused to open the door and put the Audi in reverse, crashing into the Mercedes-Benz. Pryor said a total of three shots were fired and that he took a white bag from the Audi that contained two phones, keys and a mask. Pryor later threw the items out. The other two suspects have not been identified and it's not clear if they have been arrested.
Pryor said he also threw out his gun and his phone, burning the clothes he wore the night of the killing, according to charges.
Pryor remains in Ramsey County jail in lieu of $1 million bail. He has not entered a plea, according to court records.
Christina Saint Louis • 612-673-4668