Thomas Bruce of Antonia, MO

(KMOX / St. Louis County Police)

Accused Catholic Supply killer Thomas Bruce pleads not guilty

Bruce himself did not appear in the courtroom

February 21, 2019 - 7:54 am

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A 53-year-old man accused of killing a woman and wounding two others at a Catholic store in Missouri has pleaded not guilty.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Thomas Bruce, of rural Jefferson County, entered the plea Wednesday after waiving arraignment.

Prosecutors say that on Nov. 19 , Bruce made three women at the Catholic Supply store near Ballwin take their clothes off. He allegedly forced two women to perform sex acts on him and fatally shot a third woman, 53-year-old Jamie Schmidt, of House Springs, when she refused his demands.

Bruce is charged with first-degree murder, several counts of sodomy, armed criminal action, kidnapping, burglary and tampering with evidence.

Bruce also has been charged in an attack on a 77-year-old Jefferson County woman two months before the Catholic Supply attack.

Related: Accused Catholic Supply Killer Thomas Bruce Appears in Court