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Law & Order

Former St. Louis police officer gets 366 days for beating another officer

Protesters marched near the Saint Louis University campus on Grand Avenue on Sunday evening.
File photo / Ryan Delaney
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St. Louis Public Radio
Protesters march against police brutality on Sept. 17, 2017. Later that evening, an undercover officer was mistaken for a protester and assaulted.

A judge has sentenced a former St. Louis police officer to 366 days in federal prison for his role in the beating of a fellow officer more than four years ago.

A federal jury in June convicted Dustin Boone, 38, of violating the civil rights of Luther Hall, who was working undercover during police brutality protests in the fall of 2017.

The federal government had asked for the maximum sentence of 10 years, saying Boone found the beating entertaining and has a history of assaulting suspects. Boone’s attorneys wanted a sentence of just over two years, citing his lack of criminal history and “a police culture of excessive force” that “permeated” the St. Louis department.

Senior Judge E. Richard Webber did not explain why he levied a sentence that was less than either side had requested.

Boone and three other officers — Bailey Colletta, Randy Hays and Christopher Myers — were charged in November 2018 with a series of felonies, including deprivation of constitutional rights, obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence. A fifth, Stephen Korte, was indicted more than a year later.

All of the five officers are white. Hall is Black. Hall remains on the department’s payroll but suffered serious injuries during the beating and has not been able to go back to work. He settled a lawsuit against the city in February.

Colletta pleaded guilty in September 2019 to lying to the grand jury and spent two weekends in prison. She remains on probation and had to do 200 hours of community service. Hays pleaded guilty two months later to a civil rights charge and was sentenced to just more than four years behind bars. He is currently being held at a low-security facility in Mississippi and is scheduled to be released in May 2025.

A jury deadlocked twice on a destruction of evidence charge against Myers, most recently on June 17. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported he will plead guilty in January to a misdemeanor civil rights charge and admit that he damaged Hall’s phone, in exchange for receiving probation. Korte was acquitted of all charges in March.

Boone, Colletta and Hays can no longer work as police officers in Missouri. Myers’ license is suspended, and he faces potential further discipline from the state. Korte remains on the force, but the other four officers are no longer employed by the St. Louis police department.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

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