Teen sentenced to 22 years in prison in St. Louis killing over fireworks

ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis teen convicted in April of killing a neighbor in a dispute over fireworks was sentenced Monday to 22 years in prison.

Devin Griffin-Curry was convicted April 19 by a jury on charges of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the July 12, 2022, shooting death of 35-year-old Rickey Lathan.

Lathan was fatally shot shortly after 11 p.m. in front of his home in the 2500 block of Semple Avenue in the city’s Wells Goodfellow neighborhood, authorities said. Authorities said that after one of Lathan’s firecrackers detonated across the street near where Griffin-Curry and his brother live, the brothers ran over, argued with Lathan and began shooting.

Investigators said the brothers were recorded by doorbell surveillance entering their home with guns shortly after the shooting. At trial, prosecutors presented evidence from the police department’s ShotSpotter gunshot detection system. Griffin-Curry’s lawyer argued at trial that Griffin-Curry not kill Lathan and that his client had been misidentified.

The jury that found Griffin-Curry guilty recommended a 19-year term for second-degree murder and a three-year term for armed criminal action. On Monday, St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Boyer followed the jury’s recommendation and ordered the terms on those counts to run consecutively, as required by law.

Devin Griffin-Curry was 16 at the time of the killing and later certified as an adult to stand trial. A case remains pending against his brother, 20-year-old Davon Griffin-Curry, who was 18 at the time of the killing.

The case number for both defendants is 2322-CR01717.