Thursday, 12 December 2013 14:15 Published in Local News
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - St. Charles County drivers pulled over at several recent safety checkpoints received something other than the usual verbal warnings, traffic citations or even drunk-driving tickets.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that government subcontractors working on behalf of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration instead asked motorists to voluntarily submit blood and saliva samples in exchange for cash. Two off-duty county sheriff's deputies in marked patrol cars initially flagged down the drivers.
The St. Charles County Sheriff's Department now says it will no longer participate in future surveys. Lt. Dave Tiefenbrunn acknowledges some motorists may have thought participation was mandatory, though no action was taken against drivers who refused to stop.
Impaired drivers were not arrested. Instead, survey takers were supposed to make sure such drivers got home safely.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 12:23 Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Prosecutors will no longer seek the death penalty against a southwest Missouri man who is charged with killing a classmate.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that they dropped the possibility of capital punishment after 20-year-old Gabriel Roche of Republic agreed to have his case decided by a judge, not a jury.
Roche is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the December 2011 death of 17-year-old Weston North. Roche took his classmate to a secluded area and stabbed him before slitting his throat.
Prosecutors say Roche believed North was a police informant.
The Springfield News-Leader reports Roche's attorneys didn't dispute that their client killed North. They asked the judge to consider charging him with second-degree murder, arguing that Roche was on drugs and hallucinating during the killing.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 12:17 Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt are taking different approaches to buying health care policies through new online marketplaces.
The federal health care law requires members of Congress and their staff to get insurance through a health insurance exchange.
Blunt says he already has selected a plan through the District of Columbia's exchange. He will receive an employer contribution to put toward the purchase price, but the Republican senator says he will donate an equal amount to charity.
McCaskill says she plans to shop next week for a policy for herself and two daughters on the Missouri exchange, which is run by the federal government. The Democratic senator won't receive an employer contribution for her policy.