ACCUSED CATHOLIC SUPPLY STORE KILLER ENTERS NOT GUILTY PLEA TO SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES IN JEFFERSON COUNTY
September 17, 2019
Accused Catholic Supply Store killed Thomas Bruce appeared in court through video chat on Monday on separate charges out of Jefferson County.
Bruce entered a not guilty plea to five charges that stemmed from a home invasion in September 2018.
According to court documents, Bruce arrived at the woman’s door between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2018. He told her he was with AMVETS and wants to ask a few questions. He then forced open the door, which knocked her to the floor. He went into the home and sexually assaulted her. While dragging her to a spare bedroom, the house phone rang.
She informed Bruce that her husband was calling to say he was on his way home. Bruce then stated he would kill him when he got home. Bruce then put her in the bedroom and left with her cell phone. Her elbows and knees were injured.
On Nov. 21, 2018, while watching the news, the woman saw Bruce’s mug shot and identified him as the man who assaulted her.
Prosecutors asked for Bruce’s bond to be revoked. It was previously set at $500,000. The judge agreed to revoke it and said he believed Bruce would be a danger to the community because of his charges out of St. Louis County.
5 On Your Side’s PJ Randhawa was in the court room for the hearing. Bruce showed no emotion through the video chat and he had his hands clasped in front of him the whole time.
The public defender for Bruce argued he had no criminal history.
Bruce faces at least 50 years in prison is he is found guilty.
In November 2018, Bruce was charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, sodomy and other charges in connection with the Catholic Supply homicide and sexual assaults.
Bruce posed as a customer and left the store to go get something from his car. When he returned, he forced the three women into the back room of the store at gunpoint. In the back room, he demanded all three to perform sex acts on him. One of the victims, 53-year-old Jamie Schmidt, refused so he fatally shot her.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.