Missouri v. Reginald Clemons
946 S.W.2d 206 (Mo.banc
The Chain of Rocks Bridge is a highway bridge over the Mississippi River
that formerly permitted traffic to travel between Illinois and Missouri
before authorities closed the bridge to vehicular traffic.
Julie and Robin Kerry
arranged to take their visiting cousin, Thomas Cummins, to the bridge to
show him a graffiti poem they had painted there several years earlier.
On April 4, 1991, at approximately 11:25 p.m., the two sisters and
Cummins went to the bridge.
Earlier that evening,
Reginald Clemons, along with Marlin Gray, Daniel Winfrey, and Clemons
cousin, Antonio Richardson, met at a mutual friendís home. They drank
beer and smoked marijuana. Gray suggested that they go to the Chain of
Clemons, Richardson, Gray and Winfrey drove in two separate cars to the
bridge. Parking near the Missouri end of the bridge, the foursome went
through a hole in the fence, over a pile of rocks blocking the bridge
entrance to vehicles, and onto the bridge deck.
They attempted to smoke
a joint of marijuana, but found the marijuana too wet to light. The
group walked back toward their cars. They left behind a long metal
flashlight that Richardson brought to the bridge.
The Kerry sisters and
Cummins arrived at the bridge sometime after Clemons and his friends.
The Kerrys and Cummins made their way onto the bridge deck and walked
toward the Illinois end of the bridge.
Clemons and his companions, who were headed back toward the Missouri
side. The two groups briefly chatted. One of the Kerry sisters gave
Winfrey a cigarette. Gary showed the Kerrys and Cummins how to climb
over the bridge railing and come back up through a manhole in the bridge
deck. He told Cummins that the manhole was "a good place to be alone,
and take your woman."
The two groups parted,
heading in opposite directions. Cummins and the Kerry sisters stopped to
look at the graffiti poem and then continued walking toward Illinois.
In the meantime,
Clemons and his friends had returned to the Missouri end of the bridge.
As they lingered there, Clemons suggested to his companions, "Letís rob
them." Gray replied "Yeah, I feel like hurting somebody." Richardson
suggested they rape the girls. Clemons agreed.
The foursome walked
back toward the Illinois end of the bridge. As they walked, Winfrey saw
Gray talk to Clemons, after which Gray came to Winfrey and handed him a
condom. Winfrey put the condom in his pocket and stated that he "wasnít
going to do it." Clemons grabbed Winfrey, pushed him toward the rail of
the bridge, and threatened him until Winfrey agreed to "do it."
They caught up with the
Kerry sisters and Cummins and ordered Cummins to lye on the ground. They
raped the sisters and eventually ordered them into a manhole.
On the metal platform
under the bridge, Cummins laid down next to Julie and Robin Kerry. They
were ordered to get up and go towards the concrete pier below the
platform. Julie was pushed off first, then Robin. Cummins was ordered to
jump. He did. When he surfaced after his seventy-foot fall, he saw Julie
nearby in the water and called for her to swim.
Fighting the current
and rough water, Julie grabbed Cummins, dragging them both below the
surface. Cummins broke free. Julie did no reappear. Cummins eventually
reached a steep riverbank and came ashore by a wooded area near the
Chain of Rocks waterworks.
Julieís body from the river near Caruthersville, Missouri, about three
weeks later. Robinís body is still missing.