A 22-year-old Missouri man has been charged with murder in the first degree in connection with a shooting death on the morning of Oct. 11. Prosecutors have also charged the Texas County resident with multiple felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon. A judge ordered him to be held without bond according to media reports. First-degree murder carries a sentence of death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in Missouri. The man is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 15 to enter a plea.
According to a report from the Texas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to the intersection of Route W and Missouri Route 17 at approximately 7:00 a.m. When they arrived at the scene, deputies say they found a critically injured 30-year-old man lying in the road. The man is said to have identified his assailant before being transported by emergency services workers to Texas County Memorial Hospital. He succumbed to his injuries shortly after being admitted.
The TCSO then contacted the Missouri State Highway Patrol to assist in the search for the man identified by the victim. He was subsequently located and apprehended in Howell County. A TCSO representative said the two men knew one another. However, he did not say what may have motivated the man to allegedly shoot the victim.
When presented with a sequence of events like this, criminal defense attorneys with experience in cases involving homicides may argue that the facts do not support a charge of murder in the first degree. To secure a first-degree murder conviction, prosecutors must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to kill the victim. This standard of proof could be difficult to meet when the victim was still alive when the alleged perpetrator left the scene.