Three people have been charged in a carjacking and murder of a St. Louis area High School football assistant coach. 27-year-old Jaz Granderson was shot and killed in mid-October in an incident that triggered shock in the immediate community and an outpouring of sorrow from students.
The three men accused in the murder – 22-year-old Floyd Barber, 23-year-old Jherrica Dixon and 25-year-old Kurt Wallace – are all from St. Louis.
In the 10-count federal indictment filed Wednesday afternoon, the three men are alleged to have participated in at least five armed carjackings between August and October of this year.
They’re accused of shooting and injuring two of the victims, one of them the day before Granderson was shot and killed. U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen said the incidents are part of a wave violent carjackings.
“This is a series of vicious and senseless crimes,” said Jensen. “We just doubled the number of violent crime prosecutors in this office so people who commit carjackings and armed robberies in the City of St. Louis can expect very aggressive prosecution by this office and the Circuit Attorney’s Office.”
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of death or life in prison.
Granderson was an assistant coach at DeSmet Jesuit High School in Creve Coeur, west of St. Louis. He was known as a mentor and was loved by students.
De Smet Coach Steeples praised Granderson for his commitment the football program and the students involved in it. “Jaz was committed to our program at De Smet Jesuit,” Steeples said. “He believed in this school and it was his dream to build our program as a platform to develop the young men entrusted to our care.”
Granderson attended Kirkwood High School, then played football for the University of Northern Iowa before transferring to Lindenwood University. Granderson joined the De Smet football coaching staff in 2016.
Hundreds of people attended Granderson’s funeral.
Missourinet Sports Director Bill Pollock contributed to this story