Most 18-year-olds are thinking about prom or getting into college. Not Molly Peter. She’s facing a first-degree murder rap for the shooting death of 36-year-old Antonio Eugene Quinn in what prosecutors are describing as a drug deal gone bad.
Now it is worth noting from the outset that prosecutors are likely playing one of their sneaky “scare the hell out of the witness” games here. It is believed that the actual shooter of Quinn and 33-year-old Michael Allen James (injured in the attack) was Larry Deandre Ratliff, 26.
Unless Peter had her finger on the trigger and pulled with equal force, she likely did not shoot the two men. However, the Des Moines Register spoke to Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek, who said Peter had a “supporting role in this.”
“It is unfortunate she was a young lady and had her whole life ahead of her and then got wrapped up in this mess. … It just appears to be bad choices and bad friends,” Parizek said, adding that “She was 18 so she is technically an adult. But essentially, she was a child.”
Despite the youth, Peter proved herself a hard worker in the years leading up to her role in the crime, working at three different locations — all food service — in Dairy Queen, IHOP, and Legends American Grill.
She was also reportedly engaged at the time of her arrest.
“This whole thing is just sad all around,” Parizek said, noting both shooter and victim were parents. “There’s broken families everywhere you look in this thing. Unfortunately, that’s what we find pretty often. … These families just get shattered because of one stupid decision in one split second.”
If you are feeling too badly for Molly, don’t. The likelihood of her doing the full murder one rap isn’t much. This is a common ploy prosecutors like to use the scare the bejeezus out of one of the involved parties so they will testify against the greater evil. If Peter didn’t shoot, she’ll likely plead guilty to a lighter sentence.
Still, if convicted of the charges as they stand now, she could be facing life without the possibility of parole.
(Featured Image: Polk County Jail)