11:51 AM PDT, September 15, 2021
Life hasn’t turned out well for the shotgun-wielding robber who held up a St. Louis bar, only to have a patron blow cigarette smoke in his face and ask for another beer.
Kevin Jerome Moore, 39, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in July for the 2019 robbery of Behrmann’s Tavern in south St. Louis.
He pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of robbery and a gun charge. He also acknowledged robbing five patrons and an employee.
But it was surveillance video of the robbery that received the most attention, due to the nonchalance of Tony Tovar, who wasn’t having any of Moore’s threats or gunplay. Even when Tovar is seen being jabbed with the shotgun, he grabs back his cellphone from Moore’s grip. He calmly lights a cigarette and smokes it while Moore points the semi-automatic weapon in his face.
When told to turn over the contents of his wallet, his laconic response was he only had two bucks. And, “As long as you are back there, why don’t you get me a beer?” Tovar told Inside Edition in 2019. “Sometimes you just have to stand up to punks like that.”
In the video, Moore is seen ordering patrons to the floor, and forcing the bartender to empty the cash register. For his efforts, Moore got a total of $62 and a cellphone from the patrons and the employee, and $200 from the register, authorities said.
Surveillance video released by the tavern, which bills itself as the second-oldest bar in St. Louis, went wildly viral, garnering more than 61 million views on Inside Edition’s YouTube channel. Moore was arrested just days after the Aug. 28, 2019 robbery.
He was ordered held without bail at the City Justice Center, a notorious facility where inmates have staged recent riots and lit fires to protest what they say are harsh conditions and overly long waits for court hearings.
Inside, Moore allegedly got into more trouble after corrections officers say he helped beat another inmate. That incident was also caught on surveillance video. The March encounter also resulted in third-degree assault charges being filed against corrections officer Demeria Thomas, 38, who authorities said allegedly opened a cell door at the request of Moore and inmate Antonio Holt, 39. The two men are seen attacking another prisoner in the surveillance tape, authorities said.
Moore and Holt were also charged with third-degree assault, officials said, and are awaiting trial, as is Thomas.
Thomas’ lawyer, Terry Niehoff, said in March that Thomas did not watch the assault and broke it up as soon as she realized what was happening. She has pleaded not guilty.
In July, Thomas was charged with a federal civil rights count for allegedly permitting the two inmates to attack their fellow prisoner. At the time, her attorney said her actions were not criminal.
Inside Edition Digital has left a message seeking comment with the lawyer.