The Chicago man whose charred body was found in a burning car in St. Paul last weekend may have been murdered over money.
23-year-old Demetrius Ramon Smoot has been arrested and charged in connection with the death of Jeremy Allen, who was reportedly in town visiting relatives at the time of his death on Nov. 14.
The case began when firefighters were called to the scene of a burning Dodge Charger in a St. Paul alley, finding the body in the front passenger seat after they extinguished the blaze, according to the criminal complaint.
It was eventually determined that the man died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Later, when police interviewed a minor – identified as "LLG" – who said Smoot summoned his help moving the body and torching the car, LLG told them that Smoot had claimed the killing was in self-defense.
But a witness to an alleged drug deal that took place right before Allen's death casts serious doubt on that story. That person, identified as "CH," told investigators that he and Smoot had met the victim to buy marijuana from him. Out of nowhere, CH said he heard a "loud pop" and realized that Smoot had shot the man.
CH said Smoot told him he'd shot the victim because they owed him money. CH also told investigators that Allen did not have a weapon and had not done anything to provoke Smoot.
For his part, Smoot has denied any involvement in the death, and told police "I didn't kill anybody."
He is charged with murder in the second degree.