He stalked and terrorized women, robbing them at gunpoint and threatening to sexually assault them.
Now, the man responsible for separate attacks has been sentenced to serve six consecutive life sentences for his crimes.
In January 2013, Jerald Harris approached three young people as they stood outside a home in the 4200 block of Cleveland. With a bandana covering his face, Harris pulled a gun and demanded money and cell phones.
But he didn’t stop there. He grabbed one of the female victims and led her several feet away, telling her he was going to force her to perform a sex act.
The victims recounted their frightening ordeal in court.
“I thought there was a good chance he would rape or shoot one or all of us and leave us on the street,” one victim wrote in court documents. “Sadly, I will never be able to erase it from my memory,” wrote another.
Harris got away. Then, in June of 2013, when he selected another woman to terrorize, his behavior came to an end.
T.F. had stepped outside and was taking a break from her job at a nursing home in the Dutchtown neighborhood. As was their safety practice, her coworkers were watching from the window.
Harris spent several minutes slinking around the woman before approaching her. Again, he was wearing a bandana and holding a gun. This time, though, he grabbed the woman and forced her to a nearby park, at one point telling her to act like his girlfriend.
Thankfully, her coworkers saw it all and called police. An officer happened to be in the area. He chased Harris in his car and later on foot. Officers recovered the gun. The defendant was still wearing the bandana.
“The victim, T.F. offered everything she had, even her car, but the defendant was no longer interested in her belongings,” wrote Assistant Circuit Attorney Natalie Warner in court documents. “The defendant poses a serious threat to the people of the city
of St. Louis.”
Harris was on parole at the time of the first of these crimes. He has previous convictions for robbery, burglary, stealing, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of an illegal firearm.
In January, a St. Louis City jury found Harris guilty of nearly a dozen counts against him. Last week, a judge sentenced Harris to serve the rest of his life in prison.