Man charged with murder in dragging death

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- A St. Louis man was charged Tuesday with running down his ex-girlfriend and dragging her nearly 1,200 feet to her death.

Diane Watson, 31, was still alive Monday after she was dislodged from underneath the pickup truck but died a short time later at a hospital, where the suspect showed up and allegedly made strange statements, prompting a call to police.

John Conway, 54, was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Watson was crossing a street after leaving a convenience store when the pickup drove toward her and struck her, witnesses said. The pickup kept going, with Watson caught in the undercarriage.

"We believe the driver knew she was under there because witnesses said they could hear her screaming for the first few hundred yards," Capt. James Gieseke, commander of the crimes against persons division, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It was vicious."

A short time later, police were called to St. Alexius Hospital where a man had appeared and said he wanted to leave some money for his mother and made references to the incident.

Police said Watson and the suspect had had a relationship, but that she broke it off about a week ago. "It didn't end nicely," a detective said.

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