ST. LOUIS – The man charged with the murder of retired St. Louis police Captain David Dorn was previously convicted in St. Louis County in 2014 but never served a day in prison.
Stephan Cannon, 24, was sentenced to seven years for felony robbery but the judge gave him a break. Cannon got probation under what’s called a suspended execution of sentence (SES). Court records show Cannon then violated probation—twice—and got two more breaks. He never went to prison.
Cannon now faces a first-degree murder charge for killing Dorn on June 2.
Dorn was protecting a pawnshop from being looted. St. Louis police released video of suspects looting that night and CrimeStoppers offered a growing reward that reached nearly $60,000.
Officer Robert Howard said he was relieved to hear about arrests. He said Capt. Dorn inspired him decades ago when Howard was just starting out in law enforcement.
“I am thankful the police department got on top of that and I would also like to thank, if there were any witnesses or anybody who stepped up to the plate, these are the things that we need and I’m thankful for that,” he said.
Howard has not forgotten Dorn since the day he met the captain about 20 years ago.
“Captain Dorn was amongst other police officers that I had an opportunity to run into before even getting the opportunity to work in law enforcement,” Howard said. “Those were the individuals I looked up to. They wore the uniform with pride.”
Moline Acres Officer Derrick Sutton said Dorn was a father-figure to many people.
“It was just an aura that he had,” he said.
Sutton worked under Dorn for five years when he was chief of police in Moline Acres.
“When you went to work, you wanted to do more than just your job, and I imagine that’s with most officers, but with Dorn it was like, ‘I want to do my job. I want to do more than my job,’” he said.
Sutton knows he was far from the only person whose life was affected by Captain Dorn.
“I had no idea the magnitude that the spirit of Dorn has touched, so I can’t even imagine you know, what the family is going through because of how I feel right now,” he said.
CrimeStoppers had put up a reward of ten grand that grew to nearly $60,000 before Sunday’s arrest. Representatives did not indicate if it was a CrimeStoppers tip that led to the break. They said part of the program is that guarantee you’ll remain anonymous.