February 26, 2015
CARL E. THOMPSON, d/o/b 7-20-1964, of Rockaway Beach, Missouri, entered a guilty plea Wednesday, February 25, 2015, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, to the class C felony of possession of controlled substance. The guilty plea was entered via closed-circuit video, while Thompson remained housed in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections. Pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office, Thompson was sentenced to five (5) years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson.
On February 3, 2014, a Taney County Sheriff’s deputy made contact with Thompson as part of an investigation into an unrelated crime. During the course of this contact, the deputy discovered that Thompson was in possession of a baggie of methamphetamine.
At the time of Thompson’s guilty plea Wednesday, he was in the Missouri Department of Corrections for a violation of his parole. “By conducting the guilty plea by video, Taney County was spared the expense of transporting Mr. Thompson to court in Forsyth, then back to the prison,” says Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell. “While not all cases can be disposed of by video, each case that is provides a savings to our citizens.”
February 20, 2015
On Thursday, February 19, 2015, DUSTY RAY HICKS, d/o/b 5-27-1987, was sentenced to two (2) concurrent life sentences for his role in the 2011 kidnapping and murder of Russell and Rebecca Porter, of Willard, Missouri. Judge Calvin Holden, of Greene County, handed-down Hicks’ sentences while acting as the judge assigned to the Taney County Circuit Court case against Dusty Hicks.
The guilty plea was entered by Hicks on December 18, 2014, to two (2) counts of murder in the second degree, two (2) counts of armed criminal action, and two (2) counts of felonious restraint. After hearing victim impact statements from some of the family members of Russell and Rebecca Porter, statements from family and friends of Dusty Hicks, as well as arguments from Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell and defense attorney Jon Van Arkel, Holden sentenced Hicks to life in prison on each murder count, twenty-five (25) years on each armed criminal action count, and seven (7) years on each felonious restraint count. Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, those sentences are to run concurrently with one another.
February 2, 2015
ADAM M. TURNBOUGH, d/o/b 7-28-1985, of Notch, Missouri, was sentenced on Monday, February 2, 2015, by Senior Circuit Court Judge Carr Woods to ten (10) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for the class B felony of robbery in the second degree. Defendant’s request for probation was denied. The range of punishment for robbery in the second degree is imprisonment for a term of five (5) to fifteen (15) years.
On September 11, 2013, Turnbough stole a woman’s purse while she got into her car in the parking lot behind Waxie O’Shea’s, at Branson Landing. The victim gave a detailed description of the robber, his vehicle, and the woman who was with him, to the Branson Police the same night the crime was committed. The woman had just gotten off work at a restaurant on the Landing, and – after Turnbough had been developed as a suspect – she identified Turnbough as the robber in a photo line-up. When questioned, Turnbough admitted to the crime, telling Branson Police that he was broke and wanted money for drugs.
In addition to his prison sentence, Turnbough was ordered by Judge Woods to pay restitution to the victim – as a condition of any future parole from prison he might be granted by the Parole Board.
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February 2, 2015
RANDALL W. LYDA, d/o/b 5-05-1969, of Branson, was sentenced on Monday, February 2, 2015, to ten (10) years in prison for the felonies of domestic assault in the second degree and burglary in the first degree. Senior Circuit Court Judge Carr Woods had accepted Lyda’s guilty plea on December 11, 2014, and sentencing arguments were heard by Judge Woods on Monday. Lyda’s sentences are to run concurrently with one another, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.
On June 13, 2014, Lyda assaulted his girlfriend while they were staying at the Hall of Fame Hotel on Highway 76, in Branson. Branson Police responded to a 9-1-1 call after Lyda’s girlfriend escaped to a neighboring hotel room, occupied by two (2) people not acquainted with Lyda or the victim. Because the victim had visible injuries and was obviously fleeing for safety, the neighbors locked their door and called for help. Lyda kicked-in the door to the neighboring hotel room and pulled the victim from the room, at which time a hotel employee saw Lyda drag the victim back toward his room, striking her with his fist. Branson Police arrested Lyda – who was intoxicated – and the victim was treated for her injuries. Lyda had remained in jail since June of 2014.
Domestic assault in the second degree is a class C felony, carrying a maximum sentence of up to seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine. However, because the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office had charged Lyda as a prior and persistent felony offender, the maximum punishment was enhanced to up to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Burglary in the first degree is a class B felony, which carries a range of punishment of from five (5) to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
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