In court this morning, the jury heard opening statements in the trial of Stephan Cannon, the man accused of murdering retired police captain David Dorn. Statements from both the prosecution and the defense noted that the outcome of the trial may hinge on the testimony of Mark Jackson, a man who was allegedly with Cannon the night of Dorn’s murder and who police say fled the scene with Cannon. .
Cannon is charged with one count of first-degree murder, as well as burglary, burglary, burglary, and three counts of armed felonious action.
Dorn was killed in June 2020 amid the civil unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In his relatively brief opening statement, prosecutor Marvin Teer reminded people of those weeks of protests that at times turned violent.
“Along with the civil unrest, came the chaos,” said Teer, a longtime municipal court judge who joined the Circuit Attorney’s Office last year and is trying his first case as lead prosecutor. He recounted the events of the night of June 1 through the early hours of June 2, in which numerous stores in St. Louis were looted.
Among those stores was Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry in the 4100 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.
However, when the pawnshop alarm went off, Teer said, “Someone special came to Lee’s house.”
That special someone was David Dorn, 77, a 38-year veteran of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police and retired Moline Acres police chief. He helped with security at the pawn shop because it was owned by an old friend.
According to Teer, Dorn fired several shots to try to disperse the dozens of people in the crowd, but Dorn “didn’t expect” to encounter someone who wasn’t afraid of a gunman. As Teer said this, he pointed to Stephan Cannon sitting next to his public defender.
The jury viewed approximately 20 minutes of surveillance video from the pawnshop that night, although the public seated in the court viewing area was unable to view the footage.
Many of the people who looted Lee’s that night were wearing masks, including the person who shot Dorn. This masked individual retrieved a gun and fired 10 rounds, four of which hit Dorn, Teer said.
Teer said in his opening statement that the state will prove that this man, whose face was covered, was Cannon.
Teer also said the prosecution will call Mark Jackson, who is charged with second-degree murder and robbery in connection with Dorn’s murder, as a witness.
Jackson’s attorney, Terry Niehoff, previously told the Post Shipment that Jackson plans to testify that he took Cannon to Lee’s house but that he didn’t know Cannon had a gun. Niehoff also said his client will testify that he took Cannon away from Lee’s house that night after the shooting and that Cannon later admitted to her that he killed Dorn.
Cannon’s public defender, Brian Horneyer, used his opening statement to challenge both the notion that Cannon was the masked individual who fired the shots that killed Dorn and to discredit the prosecution’s star witness, Jackson.
According to Horneyer, when Jackson was being questioned by police, he said, “I’ll say practically anything to get out of my handcuffs and get back to my son. Tell me what to say and I’ll be a witness to what you want me to be a witness to.”
“This is the man who[m] the state’s case is based on,” Horneyer said later, adding that Jackson had changed his story “five or six times.”
Horneyer went on to say that the masked man who shot Dorn also touched “numerous surfaces” on Lee before shooting Dorn, but when police took fingerprints and DNA from those locations, they found nothing to indicate that Cannon was the masked man. .
The morning proceedings also saw testimony from Ann Dorn, David Dorn’s wife of almost 30 years, who was also a police officer.
She described her husband as “larger than life,” a dedicated police officer and public servant, as well as a loving father and grandfather.
She fought back tears as she recounted learning her husband had been fatally shot protecting his old friend’s business.