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LEBANON, Mo. (AP) — A jury has recommended the death penalty for a man convicted of killing an elderly couple who interrupted a burglary at their south-central Missouri home in July 2010.

The jury that was brought to Laclede County from Franklin County deliberated about four hours Friday afternoon before reaching its recommendation for 33-year-old Jesse Driskill of Lebanon, Missouri.

The same panel convicted Driskill on Wednesday of first-degree murder in the deaths of 82-year-old Johnnie Wilson and 76-year-old Coleen Wilson at their secluded home near Lebanon. Both were shot, and Coleen Wilson was raped before their killer tried to burn their bodies.

Laclede County Circuit Judge Kenneth Hayden will consider the jury's recommendation when he sentences Driskill on November 5th.

Besides murder, Driskill was also convicted of rape, sodomy, burglary and armed criminal action.

Published in Local News

GOLDEN CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man has been charged with abducting, sexually assaulting and killing a 12-year-old girl whose body was found earlier in the week in southwest Missouri.

Thirty-four-year-old Bobby Bourne Junior of Lockwood was charged Friday in Barton County with child kidnapping, forcible and statutory rape and first-degree murder. Bourne is being held on $2 million bond. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.

His alleged victim, Adriaunna Horton, was reported missing Monday shortly after she was last seen getting into a vehicle in Golden City, where she lived with her father. Bourne was arrested about two hours later in Golden City.

Horton's body was found Wednesday on private land in a rural area in neighboring Dade County.

Published in Local News

   A body was found Wednesday in the search for a kidnapped 12 year old Missouri girl, although authorities say a positive identification had not been made.

   Adriaunna Horton's father, James Horton, told KMBC-TV that his daughter's body had been found.

   A spokesman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol declined to disclose where the body was found, KMBC reported, but confirmed the search effort for Horton has been suspended.

   Bobby Bourne Jr., 34, of Lamar, Mo., was charged with kidnapping Tuesday in the disappearance of Horton, who was last seen Monday afternoon getting into a vehicle around 5 p.m. in Golden City, Mo.

   James Horton told ABC News affiliate KODE-TV that the suspect was known to his family.

   "He worked for me last summer on a job, a construction job. He was a neighbor. He lived less than a block behind us for a year," Horton said.

   On Tuesday, searchers used horses, all-terrain vehicles, dogs and a patrol helicopter to scour the small town.

   "We are going to exhaust every lead that comes in," said Troop D Public Information Officer Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

   Horton was at the park with her sister and friends celebrating the end of her first day of the new school year when witnesses reported seeing her get into an SUV.

   The girl's father said he was told the driver of the SUV was asking children at the park for help.

   "He was whining he couldn't find his daughter. He had a missing child. He asked the girls in the park to help him," Horton said. "My oldest daughter walked up to his vehicle. That's when she was abducted."

   Police said they stopped a similar vehicle 90 minutes later and arrested Bourne, who was driving alone.

   Bourne was being held in the Barton County Jail on a $1 million bond. He had not entered a plea.

Published in Local News

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A jury has found a 79-year-old former photographer guilty in the decades-old killings of four California women.

After deliberating for less than eight hours, the Marin County Superior Court jury on Tuesday found Joseph Naso guilty of killing two young prostitutes in the 1970s and two others in the 1990s.

Naso acted as his own attorney in the two-month trial in which prosecutors presented DNA and other compelling evidence against him. Marin County deputy public defender Pedro Oliveros assisted Naso and confirmed the Reno, Nev., resident was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder.

The four victims all had alliterative initials in their names. The same jury will reconvene Sept. 4 for the penalty phase of the trial. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Published in National News

DUNCAN, Okla. (AP) - Two Oklahoma teenagers accused of killing an Australian baseball player as he jogged are automatically being charged as adults.

Prosecutors charged 15-year-old James Francis Edwards Jr. and 16-year-old Chancey Allen Luna with first-degree murder on Tuesday. Police say the two killed 22-year-old Christopher Lane on Friday to overcome boredom. Under Oklahoma law, anyone who is 15 or older and facing a first-degree murder charge is automatically tried in adult court.

Also Tuesday, 17-year-old Michael Dewayne Jones was charged with being an accessory after the fact and with using a vehicle during the discharge of weapon. Jones is charged as a youthful offender but will still have his case heard in adult court.

No bond was set for the younger boys. Bond was set at $1 million for Jones.

Published in National News

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A judge in southwestern Illinois has sentenced a man to 47 years in prison for beating to death his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 24-year-old Julian Gates told the St. Clair County judge Friday that he "snapped" when the girl urinated in her bed.

Gates, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, told investigators he beat Mia Caito with a belt, his hand and an extension cord.

Investigators say the girl was covered "head to toe" in bruises and died of blunt force trauma in the January 2012 assault.

In a victim impact statement, the girl's mother, Brandy Johnson, told the court the little girl loved hugs and kisses, wearing her hair in a ponytail and watching "Dora the Explorer."

Published in Local News

A convicted murderer who was released from prison early, is charged for murdering a second person and dumping the body in Horseshoe Lake.

Scott Thompson was convicted of murder in 1989, but was released in February of this year after serving just 24 years of his 45-year sentence.

Now investigators believe Thompson killed 20-year-old Dakota Jones and left his body in the lake. Thompson was released because his conviction predated Illinois' "truth in sentencing" laws. The new rules require that murderers serve their entire sentence.

Thompson faces two counts of first-degree murder.

Published in Local News

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) -- Authorities issued charges against an East St. Louis man for the death of a Cahokia man who was found in an Illinois state park lake on Sunday.

Scott L Thompson, 42, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the death of 20-year-old Dakota Jones.

Illinois State Police say Jones’ body was found Sunday morning in the water near a boat launch ramp at Horseshoe Lake State Park near Pontoon Beach.

Authorities say Jones died of blunt force trauma, and evidence at the scene indicates the case was a homicide.

Illinois State Police Capt. Jim Morrissey says Jones had been dead less than 24 hours when his body was found.

Thompson was taken into custody on Sunday and remains in police custody with no bond.

 

Published in Local News

   LAKESIDE, Calif. (AP) — Amber Alerts expanded to Oregon and Washington as authorities searched for a Southern California man suspected of abducting a 16-year-old girl and wanted in the death of the girl's mother and possibly her 8-year-old brother.

   Oregon state police said there was a possible sighting of James Lee DiMaggio's blue Nissan Versa in northeast California near Alturas on Wednesday, followed by another about 50 miles along the same highway near Lakeview, in south-central Oregon.

   Investigators have said DiMaggio may be headed to Texas or Canada with 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and possibly her 8-year-old brother Ethan, though investigators said a charred body discovered along with the mother could be the boy.

   Also Wednesday, a friend of Hannah Anderson said DiMaggio told Hannah he had a crush on her and would date her if they were the same age.

   DiMaggio explained that he didn't want the girls to think he was weird in an effort to defend himself after noticing they exchanged glances, 15-year-old Marissa Chavez said. She said he spoke while driving them home from a high school gymnastics meet a couple months ago.

   Hannah Anderson asked Chavez to join her from then on whenever DiMaggio, 40, drove her to meets.

   "She was a little creeped out by it. She didn't want to be alone with him," Chavez said.

   DiMaggio was like an uncle to Hannah and 8-year-old Ethan. He was very close with their parents for years.

   On Sunday night, authorities found the body of 42-year-old Christina Anderson when they extinguished flames at DiMaggio's rural home. A child's body was found as they sifted through rubble in Boulevard, a tiny town 65 miles east of San Diego on the U.S.-Mexico border.

   The child's body has not been identified but it may be Ethan, sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said late Tuesday.

   Christina Anderson's father, Christopher Saincome, said Wednesday that his daughter visited DiMaggio's home last weekend to say goodbye before he moved to Texas. DiMaggio, who works as a telecommunications technician at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, was a regular presence at the Anderson family apartment in Lakeside, a suburb of 54,000 people.

   "He must have had this planned," Saincome said.

   Saincome said nothing seemed amiss when he called his daughter at work Friday to let her know she didn't call on his birthday. Anderson, a medical assistant, said she would call back that night but never did.

   Investigators had no evidence that the relationship between DiMaggio and the missing girl was more than friendly.

   "We're not looking into that directly at this point," Giannantonio said.

   DiMaggio is wanted on suspicion of murder and arson in a search that began in Southern California and spread to Mexico and neighboring states.

   DiMaggio's sister, Lora Robinson, told U-T San Diego that the allegations against her brother were "completely out of character." She said he spent four years in the Navy, left the service to care for her after their mother died of cancer, and volunteered rescuing animals.

   "He is the kindest person in the world," Robinson said.

Published in National News
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 17:25

Columbia man sentenced to 20 years for murder

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - One of two suspects in a central Missouri homicide has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges in the case.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that 21-year-old Durantrae D. Logan of Columbia was sentenced Tuesday to two 20-year sentences, to be served concurrently.

Logan pleaded guilty in Boone County Circuit Court to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the March 2012 shooting death of 39-year-old Lamont Sargent.

Prosecutors said the shooting occurred during a drug deal.

A co-defendant in the case, Larrell M. Banks of Fulton, is also charged with second-degree murder and attempted distribution of a controlled substance. He has a hearing scheduled for Sept. 30 and a jury trial Oct. 9 in Boone County Circuit Court.

 
Published in Local News

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