Funeral for Megan Boken

Megan Boken's casket is carried into St. Michael Church for her funeral in Wheaton Thursday. Boken, pictured at left, was killed during a robbery in St. Louis. (Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune / August 23, 2012)

Two teens have been charged with the fatal shooting of a star volleyball player from Wheaton during an apparent robbery attempt in St. Louis last weekend.

Keith Esters, 18, of Bel-Ridge, Mo., has been charged with first-degree murder, attempted robbery and two counts of armed criminal action.

Johnathan Perkins, 18, of St. Louis, has been charged with second-degree murder, second-degree attempted robbery and two counts of armed criminal action.

Both men admitted their involvement in the slaying and were being held without bond, authorities said.

Esters’ girlfriend, tracked down by police via a stolen cellphone, told police that he admitted to her that he was involved in Boken’s shooting, according to a document from St. Louis prosecutor Jennifer Joyce.

According to prosecutors, Esters and Perkins made plans to drive to the Central West End neighborhood to commit a robbery. Esters saw Boken speaking on her cellphone and decided she would be his target, officials allege.

Esters approached Boken once she was in her car but he couldn’t get his hands on the phone, Joyce said. So he shot her twice and fled in a car driven by Perkins, Joyce said.

A witness saw Esters running from the scene after Boken was shot, and later identified Esters to police, authorities said.

St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom had said Thursday night that police were "confident based on the evidence we have that we have the killers of Megan Boken in custody."

Boken led the St. Francis volleyball team to the 2006 Class AA state championship before she played for St. Louis University. She was headed to an alumni match at the university Saturday afternoon when she was killed not far from the gym.

Hundreds of people gathered Thursday morning in Wheaton to remember Boken as a fierce competitor, an affable teammate, funny friend and mentor to her younger sister Mary.

Every pew was filled inside St. Michael Catholic Church near Wheaton’s downtown. Many of the people wore ties or ribbons that were royal blue, the school colors of Boken’s high school, St. Francis in Wheaton and her college, Saint Louis University.

A single framed photo of Boken, smiling widely, was at the front of the church.

Her father, Paul Boken, said his family has been “overwhelmed” by the support and love of the community.  He remembered his daughter as a competitive, hard-working athlete, the epitome of a team player and a person who found humor in everything.

“She laughed easily and she laughed loudly,” Boken said, drawing light laughter from attendees. “Her laugh filled the room.”

Many friends, family and teammates embraced one another in the church benches as they listened to Boken’s father, teenage sister Mary and former college roommate recall stories about her life.

“I don’t think there was a dry eye anywhere. It was very sad,” said Viera Rajcan after the ceremony, who said she played volleyball with Boken when they were in high school.