- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2015

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri man charged with fatally shooting an Illinois college student during a Craigslist car deal made a minute-long court appearance Monday, only to hear from the judge that the case is headed to a grand jury.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge John Borbonus III tentatively set a June 29 preliminary hearing for Michael Gordon, though any indictment returned against the 24-year-old St. Louis man would make such a hearing unnecessary.

Gordon is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death earlier this month of Taylor Clark, who was a 19-year-old sophomore engineering student at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.

Police have said Clark of St. Jacob, Illinois, went missing May 4 after being contacted about his 2007 Nissan 350ZX he was trying to sell on Craigslist. His car and body were found the next day at a Hazelwood, Missouri, truck driving school where Gordon worked.

Investigators have alleged that Gordon, during his lunch break, shot Clark once in the head, then tried to cover his body with dirt and leaves before going back to work.

Tim Fagan, the deputy commander of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis and the case’s lead investigator, said police arrested Gordon after his name was found in emails Gordon traded with Clark about the car Clark sought to sell. Investigators said the two did not know one another before they met.

Gordon, who remains jailed on $1 million cash-only bond, said little during his brief court appearance Monday. His long, braided hair was pulled back as he stood before Borbonus in an orange jail-issue outfit and shackles.

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