Circuit Attorney News & Updates

Woman who tried to provide inmate with handcuff key and gun pleads guilty
April 04, 2014

He pulled off the biggest heist in St. Louis’ history. She was a nurse inside one of the many jails he’d seen as a career criminal.


But somehow along the way, Sherry Ann Young struck up a relationship with John Wesley Jones and ultimately conspired to provide him with a handcuff key and a gun. Their conversations occurred while he was locked up. Now, she’s the one who could be heading off to prison.


Thursday, Young pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to aid the escape of a prisoner and conspiracy.


It all began in September of 2012, according to Assistant Circuit Attorney Michael Mueth. Employees of the St. Louis City Justice Center learned Jones was trying to escape. Jones, along with three others, robbed ATM Solutions of $6.6 million in 2011. He’d successfully escaped incarceration before, but never for long. Detention officers in St. Louis discovered he was at it again.


The metal toilet and sink had been removed from his cell wall. He’d stuffed a bag full of sheets and clothing. In his possession: a handcuff key.


Detention officers and investigators jumped into action. They soon learned Jones and Young often spoke over the phone while he was in jail. The calls even mentioned smuggling items in and the escape plans.


Through their investigation, detectives learned Young had purchased a handcuff key back in August 2012, for 98 cents. She gave her name and number to the seller. It was the same brand, size and color as the one found in Jones’ cell.


On September 11, 2012, just days before Jones’ escape plan was discovered, Young bought a .40 caliber handgun for Jones.  


Young could be sentenced to 15 years in prison for her crimes. She’ll receive her exact sentence on May 16th, 2014.


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