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Retired St. Louis Police Capt. David Dorn’s Murderer Sentenced To Life Without Parole

St. Louis, MO – The convicted felon who murdered retired St. Louis Metro Police Department (SLMPD) Captain David Dorn during a violent night of rioting in 2020 has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Stephan Cannon, 26, was convicted by a jury in July for gunning down the 77-year-old retired police captain outside a pawn shop he was trying to protect from looters on June 2, 2020, FOX News reported.

Dorn’s attackers broadcast his horrific death on Facebook Live.

Cannon was ultimately convicted of first-degree robbery, first-degree murder, three counts of armed criminal action, and unlawful possession of a firearm, FOX News reported.

The jury deliberated for just three hours, according to KSDK.

Missouri Circuit Court Judge Theresa Counts Burke sentenced him to life without parole on the murder charge on Oct. 5.

Cannon was also given the maximum sentences on each of the remaining counts, which resulted in a cumulative 30-year consecutive sentence.

Dorn’s widow, retired SLMPD Sergeant Ann Wood-Dorn, said she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the wake of her husband’s murder, KSDK reported.

Wood-Dorn said her struggle with PTSD forced her to give up her 28-year law enforcement career prior to being eligible for full pension, KSDK reported.

Wood-Dorn said that her husband “became a victim of the very thing he fought against.”

She said that only God can grant her husband’s killer forgiveness.

“He has no remorse. He doesn’t fear jail,” the retired police sergeant said during Cannon’s sentencing hearing, according to KSDK. “I’ll never give you a second thought. Today I chose to be a survivor. I cannot live my life as a victim.”

Dorn’s son, Brian Powell, said his father taught him and his brother to volunteer as mentors and coaches to help steer kids down a successful path in life, KSDK reported.

“We saw kids just like Stephan Cannon, and we tried our best to help as many kids as we can,” Powell said. “We used to beat ourselves up and my mom, she said, ‘You can’t save everyone.’”

He said Cannon was someone who “fell through the cracks,” KSDK reported.

“I’m glad justice was served today. It’s just sad. No one wins in this situation. Everybody is hurt. We’re hurt. His family’s hurt. No one wins,” Powell said. “But we are just glad that justice prevailed today.”

Cannon apologized to Dorn’s family at the sentencing hearing but maintained his innocence.

“This ain’t justice,” he told the judge, according to KSDK.

Cannon’s family has insisted his co-defendant, Mark Jackson, was the person who murdered Dorn.

Investigators said Jackson was the getaway driver.

Jackson was ultimately convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to just five years of probation, KSDK reported.

Cannon’s mother alleged her son is serving a sentence for a crime Jackson committed.

“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Cannon’s mother, Sholanda Harris, said of her son. “I don’t understand why an innocent young man has to go to jail for a murder he did not commit. I want justice for my son, just as well as they want justice for Capt. Dorn. I’m sorry that happened to that captain, but my son is innocent. He wouldn’t harm anybody.”

Cannon had been convicted of armed robbery and assault prior to Dorn’s murder but he never served a day in prison on those felony convictions.

In 2013, he and several other suspects attacked a man in the 1800-block of Santa Delora Walk, punching him in the face and knocking him to the ground, KSDK reported.

According to court documents, they proceeded to kick the victim repeatedly before someone in the group allegedly held a gun to the back of the victim’s head and threatened to shoot him if he refused to hand over his belongings.

The mob made off with $2 in cash and the victim’s iPhone.

Investigators ultimately traced the phone to a nearby apartment complex and arrested Cannon and at least one of his accomplices, KSDK reported.

According to court documents, Cannon, then 17, confessed to having assaulted and robbed the victim and pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and a lesser charge of second-degree robbery.

He was given a suspended execution of sentence, which resulted in him being placed on probation for five years, KSDK reported.

The sentence could have been extended to seven years in prison in the event he was found to have violated the terms of his probation.

According to court documents, a probation violation report was filed against Cannon in December of 2018, KSDK reported.

The nature of the violation has not been released.

In March of 2019, the court declined to revoke Cannon’s probation sentence, thereby allowing him to avoid prison yet again.

His sentence expired on March 28, 2019, KSDK reported.

Had the court opted to revoke Cannon’s sentence as a result of the alleged probation violation, he likely would have been in prison in June of 2020 and the retired captain’s life would have been spared.

Retired Capt. Dorn, a 38-year veteran of the SLMPD, was friends with the owner of Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry and often responded to the shop when the store’s burglar alarm was triggered, his widow told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after his murder.

According to court documents, security footage showed Cannon and multiple other suspects as they pulled up to Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry in a Pontiac G6 sometime before 2:30 a.m. on June 2, 2020, KMOV reported.

Cannon and his accomplices forced their way inside the business and proceeded to haul several televisions out of the building, security footage showed.

Cannon, armed with a handgun, walked over to the outside corner of the store just moments before retired Capt. Dorn arrived at the scene, according to court documents.

Investigators said Cannon opened fire on retired Capt. Dorn as he was approaching the pawn shop.

“It is apparent from the surveillance that at the time the shots were fired, Cannon was the only person standing at that corner,” the charging documents read.

Several plumes of smoke were seen rising up from the area where the alleged gunman was standing, investigators noted.

The retired captain immediately collapsed to the ground.

According to witnesses, someone yelled into the store after the shooting and told the other looters that it was time to leave, KMOV reported.

The suspects ran outside subsequently broadcast the wounded captain’s death on Facebook Live.

Retired Capt. Dorn’s body was discovered outside the store after the looters fled the area.

He had been shot in the torso multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene, KSDK reported.

Security footage allegedly showed that Cannon, a driver, and one other passenger sped off in the Pontiac G6, according to KMOV.

An eyewitness identified Cannon, who later confessed that he had been inside the pawn shop on the night of retired Capt. Dorn’s murder, KSDK reported.

He said he tried to change his appearance by cutting his hair after police released security footage from the store, according to court documents.

Investigators also found one of the pawn shop’s stolen televisions inside Cannon’s home.

Capt. Dorn served SLMPD for 38 years before he retired in 2007, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

He was last assigned as the Bureau of Patrol Support deputy commander, and was tasked with overseeing the tactical unit, commercial vehicles, mounted patrol and traffic unit.

He also spent time serving as the chief of police in Moline Acres.

“David Dorn was a fine captain, many of us young officers looked up to him,” retired St. Louis Metro Police Chief John Hayden told KMOV.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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