Judge sentences man to life in prison for killing St. Louis police officer

FILE - Defendant Thomas Kinworthy Jr. sits in the courtroom during his first-degree murder trial, May 2, 2024, in St. Louis. Kinworthy Jr., who was convicted of killing a St. Louis police officer in 2020, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Thursday, June 27. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, Pool, File)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man convicted of killing a St. Louis police officer in 2020 was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Thursday.

Judge Elizabeth Hogan ordered Thomas Kinworthy Jr., 46, to serve two consecutive life sentences for first-degree murder and first-degree assault, adding dozens of years for burglary and other charges.

A jury this month convicted Kinworthy in the August 2020 violence related to the death of Officer Tamarris Bohannon, 29, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The first-degree murder conviction brings mandatory life imprisonment.

Bohannon was with the police department for 3 1/2 years, and had a wife and three young children. He responded to a call after an armed man ordered a family out of their home and barricaded himself inside, police said. Bohannon was shot in the head and a second officer in the leg as officers were looking for another person who was reportedly shot, police said.

Bohannon's loved ones, including his parents, sister, wife and children, read statements about the impact of his death on them.

“He should still be here," Elizabeth Bohannon said of her son. “He should be here to experience all that life had to offer him.”

Tiffany Bautista said she learned her brother had been shot in the head shortly after she had given birth to her first child. She said she and her husband had to plead with a hospital CEO to let her leave her 12-hour-old son to see her brother.

Kinworthy disputed the case and said nothing can change the events around Bohannon's death or his sentence. He angrily interrupted the prosecutor at times when she read through his criminal history during sentencing recommendations.

Kinworthy's attorney said he was suffering a psychotic episode on the day of the shooting. He said they look forward to an appeal and hope for a retrial.