Joseph Fox has received the equivalent of a 50-year prison sentence for shooting two brothers, one of them fatally, during a robbery in the Bevo Mill neighborhood.
Fox was supposed to stand trial Monday for the May 31, 2013, crime in which Haris Gogic, 19, was killed. But he opted to make a plea deal Friday instead.
Fox, 25, accepted five life sentences for the murder, assault and armed criminal action charges and a 20-year sentence for robbery. Judge Rex Burlison ordered Fox to serve his life sentences concurrently and the robbery sentence consecutively. In Missouri, a life sentence is calculated at 30 years.
The maximum penalty would have been a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Gogic and his older brother, Mirza Gogic, 25, immigrants from Bosnia, had turned the front of their family’s home, at the intersection of Chippewa Street and Alfred Avenue, into the Quick Stop convenience store, specializing in fixing cellphones and other electronics.
Fox shot both of the men and put a cashier, now Mirza Gogic’s fiancée, in a chokehold before making off with about $30, officials said. Mirza Gogic was shot in the arm. His brother died later that day from a gunshot to his head.
Gogic said, “I have suffered for three years, my family has suffered for three years, and we will suffer for the rest of our lives. He should have spent the rest of his life in prison, period.
Mirza said his family remained at the house where the shooting took place but had not reopened the store.
He said that he had regained full use of his arm but that changes in the weather often triggered pain, along with painful memories.
He has also asked his girlfriend to marry him. They are expecting their first child this summer.
If it is a boy, he said, he already knows what he will name him: Haris.
Written by Christine Byers