A St. Paul man has been charged with murder in an attempted robbery turned slaying at a downtown hotel last month.
Anthony Melvin Lamont Curtis Pryor, 20, of St. Paul, was charged in Ramsey County District Court Friday with both second-degree intentional murder and second-degree unintentional murder. Authorities say Pryor shot Alexander Scott Christoff, 37, on the parking ramp of SpringHill Suites, on Jackson Street, in the early morning hours of Aug. 29. Christoff's friend discovered him at the scene and drove him to Regions Hospital in Christoff's bullet-riddled Audi, where he was pronounced dead of multiple gunshot wounds.
According to charges:
A witness told police he was in the parking garage when he saw a Mercedes-Benz drove past slowly, then continued on. Moments later he heard a crash followed by gunshots and moaning before the Mercedes-Benz squealed off. The witness came upon his friend and drove him to the hospital.
Surveillance video from the parking ramp showed Christoff leaving and returning to the parking ramp throughout the evening, tailed at times by a Mercedes-Benz carrying a passenger wearing a bright white Covid mask, a dark hoody, and a bucket hat, who entered an elevator on the parking ramp's third floor with what appeared to be a gun. He later exited the elevator. Police used other video to identify the man as Pryor, and tracked the Mercedes-Benz to an auto body shop in Hopkins, where a window was missing and there was damage to the left side.
Police arrested Pryor Sept. 15. In an interview, he allegedly admitted to police that "he didn't kill anyone and that it wasn't supposed to go down like that — it was a simple robbery." He said he planned to rob Christoff of drugs, money, jewelry and the Audi after a friend asked him to help with "this lick." That friend and another man picked Pryor up in the Mercedes-Benz, he allegedly said, and admitted that it was him in surveillance footage. He claimed he and another man fired shots after Christoff refused to open the door and put the Audi in reverse, crashing into the Mercedes-Benz. Pryor said a total of three shots were fired, and that he took a white bag from the Audi that contained two phones, keys, and a mask. Pryor later threw the items out. The other two suspects have not yet been identified and it's not clear if they have been arrested.
Pryor said he also threw out his gun and his phone, and he burned the clothes he wore the night of the killing, according to charges.
Pryor remains in the Ramsey County jail in lieu of $1 million bail. He has not entered a plea, according to court records.
Christina Saint Louis • 612-673-4668