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LATEST NEWS

CARR SENTENCED TO TWENTY (20) YEARS FOR MURDER

May 24, 2018

On Thursday morning, May 24, 2018, TRISTAN R. CARR, d/o/b 7-25-1998, of Forsyth, was sentenced to twenty (20) years for the crime of murder in the second degree and three (3) years for the crime of armed criminal action, in the Circuit Court of Greene County, Missouri. Circuit Judge Michael Cordonnier sentenced Carr after hearing arguments from Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell and Carr’s attorney. Carr’s sentences were ordered to run concurrently with each other. Carr had previously been charged with murder in the first degree, but entered his guilty plea on February 26, 2018, to the amended charge of murder in the second degree as part of a plea agreement he made with the Prosecutor.

The guilty plea and sentence stemmed from the October 15, 2016, shooting death of 18 year old Eric Summerfield outside Carr’s residence, in Forsyth. Carr shot the victim once in the chest, at point-blank range. Carr gave differing stories to investigating officers about the cause of the shooting.

Murder in the second degree carries a maximum penalty of thirty (30) years or life imprisonment – with the possibility of parole. Armed criminal action carries a minimum sentence of three (3) years in prison, with no maximum. Carr’s plea agreement capped his sentences at twenty (20) years on each of his two (2) felony charges.

Topics: News, Press Releases |

DRUG AND WEAPONS CHARGES NETS CONSECUTIVE TIME FOR CONVICTED FELON

May 22, 2018

GARY DEAN PHILP d/o/b 7-10-1965, of Branson was sentenced to a five year sentence for each of the felonies of felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine and unlawful use of a weapon and a one year jail sentence for each count of the misdemeanors of possession of marijuana and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia. Gary Philp was sentenced by Wright County Associate Circuit Judge Lynette Veenstra who was assigned to the case after Taney County Judge Tony Williams was removed from hearing the matter. Probation is denied and the sentences are to run concurrent to each other but consecutive to the fifteen year sentence he received in April after a Taney County jury trial where he was found guilty of dealing methamphetamine.

On September 27, 2016, members of the Combined Ozarks Multijurisdicitonal Enforcement Team (COMET) Drug Task Force were conducting a “knock and talk” investigation at the Plantation Inn in Branson. They made contact with Philp and received consent to search his room. As a result of the search, COMET officers found ammunition in the room and methamphetamine, marijuana, paraphernalia and a Bersa Thunder 380CC pistol on his person. Philp is a convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Sentencing was argued by Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Chris Lebeck on behalf of Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell.

Topics: News |

BRANSON MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MURDER

May 21, 2018

Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell announced today that DAKOTA CLAYPOLE, d/o/b 7-15-1995, of Branson, entered a guilty plea to the felonies of murder in the second degree and armed criminal action, in the Circuit Court of Greene County, Missouri. Circuit Judge Calvin Holden accepted Claypole’s guilty pleas, ordered a sentencing assessment report, and scheduled formal sentencing for August 3, 2018 at 2pm.

Claypole’s charges stemmed from a shooting on January 16, 2017, at a residence on Rainbow Drive, in Branson. Taney County Sheriff deputies responded to the residence and discovered Daxton Drake, age 22 years, had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Drake was pronounced dead at the scene. A witness – who was romantically involved with both Claypole and Drake – explained that she and Drake were in bed together when Claypole walked up the stairs leading into the bedroom, and brandished a handgun. Claypole verbally confronted Drake and fired a gunshot in his direction. Then, Drake stood up and Claypole fired multiple gunshots into Drake, killing him. Claypole fled the residence driving Drake’s automobile and was arrested by Highway Patrol Troopers and Branson Police Officers a few miles away.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Claypole pled guilty to the amended charge of murder in the second degree – which had formerly been murder in the first degree. The Taney County Prosecutor’s Office entered an agreement with Claypole’s attorney that the sentences handed-down by Judge Holden will be served concurrently with one another.

The class A felony of murder in the second degree carries a maximum penalty of thirty (30) years or life imprisonment – with the possibility of parole. The unclassified felony of armed criminal action carries a minimum sentence of three (3) years in prison, with no maximum.

Topics: News |

BRANSON MAN RECEIVES CONSECUTIVE SENTENCE FOR STATUTORY RAPE

May 17, 2018

On Thursday, May 17, 2018, KYLE LEE SMITH, d/o/b 10-27-1987, of Branson, was sentenced to five (5) years in prison for two (2) counts of statutory rape in the second degree, consecutive to a federal sentence, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, Missouri. In February, Smith appeared in custody before Associate Circuit Court Judge Eric Eighmy and admitted to having sexual intercourse in the summer of 2015 with two (2) underage girls on separate occasions. On Thursday, Judge Eighmy heard sentencing arguments from Smith’s attorney and from Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shana Mora, of the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office, before he ordered Smith to serve his prison sentence for the State of Missouri consecutive to his current federal sentence of fifteen (15) years.

The victims disclosed that in the summer of 2015 Smith engaged in sexual intercourse with them at his home in Branson – and each girl disclosed separate incidents. Smith was interviewed by an investigator and denied the allegations. DNA was discovered on an item of clothing belonging to one victim through the course of the investigation, and was found by criminalists at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab to be semen – consistent with the DNA profile of Kyle Lee Smith. Smith is a former teacher at an Arkansas high school.

Topics: News |


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