Metro Weekly

Man arrested in fatal stabbing of Nina Pop pleads not guilty

Joseph Cannon faces second-degree murder and a weapons charge in transgender woman's death

nina pop, joseph cannon, stab, not guilty

Joseph Cannon and Nina Pop – Photos: Sikeston Department of Public Safety; Facebook.

A Missouri man has pleaded not guilty after being charged in the killing of transgender woman Nina Pop earlier this month.

Joseph Cannon, 40, of Poplar Bluff, faces charges of second-degree murder and armed criminal action for allegedly stabbing Pop, a 28-year-old worker at a local fast food restaurant, at the apartment complex where she lived in Sikeston, Mo.

At a virtual arraignment hearing on Wednesday, Cannon pleaded not guilty and asked for a public defender, according to court records.

Judge Robert Zachary Horack, of Missouri’s 33rd Circuit Court, found that Cannon is eligible for a public defender. Horack also ordered Cannon held without bail while he awaits trial. His next scheduled court hearing is on Wednesday, May 27.

Police found Pop’s body in her apartment at 600 S. New Madrid St. in Sikeston on May 3 after responding to a report of an unresponsive person. Pop’s body appeared to have been assaulted, and she died from injuries sustained during the stabbing.

Sikeston Department of Public Safety Director Jim McMillen said Cannon’s arrest, which occurred last Friday, came about as a result of input from several community members who came forward with critical information, reports the Standard Democrat.

“I want to thank all of those involved, especially those citizens who came forth with information,” McMillen said. “Without everyone working together, these types of cases can go unsolved.”

McMillen also thanked the SEMO (Southeast Missouri) Major Case Squad for its assistance in the case, as well as other law enforcement agencies, including the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Scott County Sheriff’s Department, New Madrid County Sheriff’s Department, Dexter Police Department, Poplar Bluff Police Department, St. Louis County, MSHP Crime Lab, FBI of Cape Girardeau, Secret Service of St. Louis and the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project.

“We are continuing this investigation and will have many other steps to finalize before the case is concluded,” McMillen said. “Having said that, we are pleased to have enough evidence to charge someone for this brutal act. … We have little doubt this homicide has upset many people in the community and we are thankful we were able to charge the suspect.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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