St. Louis man sentenced to life without parole in Lindenwood Park homicide

ST. LOUIS - A St. Louis man convicted in April of what a prosecutor described as a “thrill kill” of an innocent victim in the city’s Lindenwood Park neighborhood was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole.

A jury in April found Ledra Craig, 21, guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the Feb. 5, 2021, shooting death of 53-year-old Donald Yorker. Yorker was killed outside his home in the 3300 block of Leola Avenue.

On Monday, St. Louis Circuit Judge Madeline Connolly gave Craig the mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole for first-degree murder plus a consecutive term of 15 years for armed criminal action.

Doorbell video showed a man approach Yorker, who had just parked outside his home, and ask Yorker for directions to Union Station, charges said. As Yorker gave directions, Craig fatally shot Yorker in the face with a 9mm pistol.

Police later obtained cellphone data for Craig showing him in the area at the time of the killing as well as an image of Yorker from a local news story saved in in Craig's phone.

The trial in April was Craig’s second because a jury last year could not return unanimous verdicts, resulting in a mistrial.

Craig said in court Monday that he never wanted to hurt anyone and declined further statements because he intends to appeal the convictions.

In court Monday, Yorker’s wife and mother shared their fond memories of Yorker’s life and described their loss since his death.

“Don was a wonderful, kind and thoughtful person whose life was cut short,” said his wife Theresa Yorker. “I am devastated, and each day is a struggle to keep going.”

Judge Connolly thanked the Yorker family for submitting photos, letters and statements that helped illustrate the kind of person Donald Yorker was.

Craig’s case number is 2122-CR00459-01.