A 23-year-old man faces murder charges, accused of shooting and then burning a marijuana dealer who owed him money, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.
Demetrius R. Smoot, whose address is unknown, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count of second-degree murder with intent in the Nov. 14 killing of Jeremy Allen in St. Paul.
The day that Allen, 36, was killed, he met with Smoot and a third man in St. Paul to sell marijuana, authorities said. Smoot handled the financial transaction with the third man, and Allen had possession of the marijuana, according to the criminal complaint.
Allen’s badly burned body was found inside a vehicle in the 1000 block of Westminster Street about 5:30 p.m. that day after firefighters put out the flames. He had been shot once in the head.
According to the complaint:
The third man told police that he was in a car with Smoot and Allen when the shooting occurred. Smoot was in the middle of the back seat, Allen was in the driver’s seat and the third man was in the front passenger seat.
The third man told police that he first met with Smoot in the 1200 block of Edgerton Street. He got into Smoot’s car, and the two drove to Rose Avenue E. and Arkwright Street, where they saw Allen sitting in a car.
The third man gave $40 to Smoot, who then got into Allen’s car. Smoot beckoned the third man to Allen’s car, and he obliged, getting into the front passenger seat, according to the complaint. Allen reached under his seat, pulled out a bag of marijuana and handed it to the third man, who sniffed the contents and agreed to buy one-eighth.
“OK,” Allen said before reaching under his seat for another bag of marijuana.
“Suddenly, [the third man] heard a loud pop,” the complaint said.
The third man fled Allen’s car, but Smoot ordered him to get into Smoot’s vehicle, and he obeyed.
“[Smoot] told [the third man] that he shot [Allen] because [Allen] owed him money,” the complaint said.
The third man told police that Allen didn’t do anything to provoke the shooting, and that he did not see a weapon on Allen.
Smoot allegedly asked his 16-year-old cousin to buy gasoline that he later used to burn Allen’s car, and told the teen that Allen had a gun and that he had to shoot first or risk being shot himself.
Smoot picked up his cousin in Allen’s car, and the two drove around with Allen’s body in the front passenger seat before Smoot set the car ablaze in an alley, according to the complaint.
Gas station surveillance video showed the cousin pumping $2 worth of gasoline into a bleach bottle. Private surveillance video showed “a bright burst of light” coming from Allen’s car and two males fleeing on foot, the complaint said.
Smoot was arrested Wednesday and told police he didn’t know anything about the burned car, and that he didn’t kill anyone.