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Man charged with killing St. Louis neighbor

April 17, 2021 GMT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man who claimed he fatally shot his St. Louis neighbor to protect the man’s pregnant girlfriend has been charged in the killing.

Prosecutors filed the second-degree murder and armed criminal action charge against 63-year-old Dan Charles Rathman on Friday, three weeks after 23-year-old Craig Williams was killed.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Rathman was one of several neighbors who watched Williams and his girlfriend argue outside for hours on the day of the March 26 shooting.

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According to court documents, Rathman told Williams to leave several times and fired when Williams retrieved a semi-automatic pistol from his car.

Rathman claimed at the time he had to intervene because he saw Williams choking his girlfriend. The girlfriend denied that claim, and a witness said they did not see Williams hit the woman.

The court documents did not mention a physical altercation between Williams and his girlfriend. The girlfriend gave birth this week, said Williams’ aunt, Lavonia Jones.

“We are relieved,” Jones said of the charges. “Everybody has been on edge”

Court documents say Rathman was at-large, and police did not immediately confirm Friday if Williams had been arrested.