The Missouri attorney general’s office will join the prosecution of a Houston man whose punishment could be the death penalty.

Circuit Judge Sidney Pearson approved the inclusion of an assistant attorney general in the prosecution of Andrew J. Vrba, 18, who is charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and abandonment of a corpse in the September death of Joseph M. Steinfeld, who went by “Ally” and planned to transition to a female, according to family members. Authorities allege the victim was stabbed and the remains burned.

The approval of state help is routine in death penalty cases.


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