Georgia teen in Starbucks case pleads guilty

A teen charged in connection with the death of a man trying to thwart a tip-jar theft from a Starbucks in Crestwood pleaded guilty this morning to the charges against him.

Aaron M. Poisson, 19, of Cumming, Ga., pleaded guilty in St. Louis County Circuit Court to charges of involuntary manslaughter, leaving the scene and misdemeanor theft related to the March 3 death of Roger Kreutz, 54, of Crestwood.

In a plea agreement with prosecutors, Poisson will be sentenced to one year in the county jail. He will get credit for the two months he served last year before his family posted bond.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 5, the one-year anniversary of Kreutz’s death.

Poisson allegedly stole $5 from the Starbucks tip jar and fled from the store with his girlfriend. Kreutz, who was inside the store at 9590 Watson Road buying iced lattes, ran into the parking lot after him.

Kreutz and Poisson struggled over the car door before Poisson threw the Ford Taurus into reverse, knocking Kreutz to the pavement. Kreutz suffered massive head injuries and died two days after the incident.

Poisson, dressed in a blue, long-sleeve dress shirt, a gold-and-blue tie and khakis, quietly answered Judge Colleen Dolan’s questions when she asked if he understood the charges against him and the implications of his decision to plead guilty.

Prosecutor Pat Monahan also read aloud Poisson’s written confession, in which the teen described what happened that day. Poisson wrote that as he and Kreutz truggled over the car door, he began to back up the car, and Kreutz fell.

“I didn’t see how or why he fell,” Poisson wrote. The teen said he kept backing up and drove off.

After the hearing, Poisson wept openly in the courthouse hallway. His parents hugged him.

Kreutz’s brother, Chris Kreutz, attended the hearing and said afterward his family is ready to put the court process behind them. Kreutz said his family is satisfied with Poisson’s sentence, and is not vengeful knowing that the Georgia teen must live with his actions for the rest of his life.

“How do you put a time value on a life?” Kreutz said. “With the circumstances that happened, it was just a mess. … He made a bad choice.”

Poisson is free on bond until sentencing. The plea agreement will be voided if Poisson has any entanglements with law enforcement before the sentencing hearing.



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