January 11, 2017
TYRONE SPEAR, d/o/b 5-31-1968, formerly of Branson, was sentenced to seven (7) years in prison on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, by Taney County Associate Circuit Judge Eric Eighmy, after Spear pleaded guilty to the class B felony of driving while intoxicated as a chronic offender.
Spear was arrested by Branson Police on the late afternoon of September 4, 2014, for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, after witnesses called police to complain about a possibly-impaired driver nearly striking other vehicles on the roadway. When Spear’s car was stopped by Branson officers, Spear was found to be extremely intoxicated and uncooperative. Spear refused to give a breath sample to police, so a search warrant for Spear’s blood was obtained over two (2) hours after he was first stopped by police. Lab results on Spear’s blood sample showed his blood alcohol level to be falling from 0.232% to 0.218% – indicating Spear’s blood alcohol level was probably higher at the time he was driving.
Spear was charged with the class B felony of D.W.I. because the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office was able to prove he had at least five (5) prior alcohol-related driving offenses. Spear had jumped bail for nearly a year, and had to be extradited back to Taney County from New Mexico. Spear’s range of punishment for this crime was from five (5) years to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
January 11, 2017
WILLIAM A. STATLER, d/o/b 6-08-1976, of Blue Eye, Missouri, was sentenced on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, to five (5) years in prison for the class C felonies of tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree and burglary in the second degree. Taney County Circuit Court Judge Tony Williams sentenced Statler to the prison terms upon accepting Statler’s pleas of guilty in the two (2) felony cases, pursuant to a plea agreement between the Statler and the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.
On April 23, 2015, Statler was found operating a stolen motorcycle on West State Highway 76, in Branson. Statler was identified by Branson Police before fleeing from the officers on foot, leaving the stolen motorcycle behind. Then, on May 31, 2015, Taney County deputies were alerted by a security alarm at a home in Hollister. Deputies found the homeowners were out-of-town, and several items were damaged or missing from the residence. Through the investigation, fingerprints were obtained from a honey jar and sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab, by which Statler was identified.
Both tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree and burglary in the second degree were class C felonies. A class C felony – for crimes committed before January 1, 2017 – is punishable by up to seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine.
January 4, 2017
Jefferson City, MO – Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney R. Tiffany Yarnell, of Forsyth, as Associate Circuit Judge for Taney County. The appointment fills the vacancy created when the Honorable Tony Williams was sworn in as Circuit Judge for the 46th Judicial Circuit.
December 19, 2016
On Monday, December 19, 2016, Judge Craig Carter, acting as specially assigned trial court judge in the Circuit Court of Taney County, sentenced BRYAN J. MATLOCK, d/o/b 10-15-1986, of Hollister, to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for abuse of a child and seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree. On September 9, 2016, Matlock had entered pleas of guilty to the charges, with the only agreement being that the sentences on the two (2) counts would run concurrently with one another.
On August 26, 2015, Matlock called 9-1-1 because his infant child was having difficulty breathing and was unresponsive. Matlock told Taney County Sheriff’s deputies that he had accidentally fallen on the child, then waited up to twenty (20) minutes after the child was injured to call 9-1-1. Later that day, doctors determined that the infant had serious injuries – including a subdural and subarachnoid hemorrhage and fractured rib, along with bruises and a possible bite mark – which doctors concluded were non-accidental.
Eventually, Matlock confessed to a Taney County detective that he had swung the infant by the feet as the child struck the wooden trim on a couch, had thrown the child on the couch multiple times, had squeezed the child, and had bitten the child that day. Matlock also admitted he had been physically abusing the child in the weeks preceding August 26, 2015. Matlock’s explanation for his abuse of the infant was that the child would not stop crying.
The class B felony of abuse of a child carries a range of punishment from five (5) to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The class C felony of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree carries a maximum sentence of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine.
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