Man charged with killing girlfriend in St. Paul apartment

St. Paul Police squad car.  (FOX 9)

A St. Paul man is facing a murder charge after his girlfriend was found dead in her apartment during a welfare check. 

Ramsey County prosecutors charged Kelvin Maurice Perry, 54, on Tuesday with one count of second-degree murder for allegedly killing 39-year-old Shaqita Thomas. 

According to court records, paramedics were called on Nov. 17 to assist in a welfare check at an apartment on the 300 block of Cedar Street. Inside the unit, medics found Thomas dead underneath a blow-up mattress in the bedroom and called the police.

Authorities said Thomas had small cuts on her body, trauma to her head, and there were signs of a struggle. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office determined her cause of death as asphyxia and the manner of death a homicide.

Law enforcement reviewed the apartment building’s surveillance footage, which showed Perry and Thomas meeting in the lobby around 10:10 a.m. on Nov. 15. They went to her unit, and Perry was seen leaving the apartment alone around 12:49 p.m., according to court records.

Authorities say key fob data indicated her door was locked when Perry left and was not open again until medics arrived. 

During the investigation, law enforcement learned Thomas FaceTimed a friend on Nov. 15 around 11:20 a.m. The friend explained a man was shouting in the background, and Thomas was crying, saying the man was accusing her of sleeping with her estranged husband after they were at the hospital all night due to her son's asthma. 

The call ended, and the friend said she tried calling back, but Thomas did not answer.

Approximately two days later, authorities say Perry walked in front of a Green Line train and remains hospitalized. Law enforcement did not share his current condition. 

Perry called a friend shortly before the incident, and charges explained he was crying and claimed, "Something is going on. My girlfriend is gone - she is dead," and hung up shortly after. 

Perry is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Monday, Nov. 27. 

If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit the hotline’s website to chat with an expert.