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McBRIDE SENTENCED TO TEN (10) YEARS FOR RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY

April 23, 2014

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, BRANDON L. McBRIDE, d/o/b: 3-29-1982, entered a plea of guilty to the class C felony of receiving stolen property in the Circuit Court of Taney County. Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr sentenced McBride to ten (10) years in prison for the charge, pursuant to a plea agreement with Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell.

On the evening of December 12, 2013, while out on supervised probation for felony convictions of drug possession and aggravated stalking, McBride was found driving a car with an open container of beer and three (3) passengers inside. Once officers with the Hollister Police Department began searching the car, they discovered multiple new Nintendo DS game systems and a tablet – having a combined value in excess of $500.00. When officers began asking about the new electronics, McBride fled the scene on foot. An occupant of the car explained to officers that the electronics were stolen and belonged to McBride.

A class C felony carries a maximum sentence of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine. However, McBride was charged as a prior and persistent felony offender – meaning he had at least two (2) prior unrelated felony convictions – increasing his potential maximum sentence to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. McBride’s probation was also revoked.

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TEN (10) YEAR SENTENCE FOR NIXA DRUG DEALER

April 14, 2014

JUSTIN P. CLARK, d/o/b: 6-29-1977, of Nixa, Missouri, pled guilty on Friday, April 11, 2014, to the class B felony of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, in the Circuit Court of Christian County. Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr sentenced Clark to serve ten (10) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.

On March 4, 2014, officers of the C.O.M.E.T. drug task force executed a search warrant at Clark’s apartment in Nixa. During the search, officers found over 200 grams of marijuana, as well as digital scales, pipes, and other items of drug paraphernalia. A portion of the marijuana was pre-packaged for distribution. During an interview with officers, Clark admitted that he had been selling marijuana out of the apartment for the preceding few months.

A class B felony carries a range of punishment of no less than five (5) years but no more than fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell’s office was appointed to act as special prosecutor in Clark’s case.

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SMITH SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR DOMESTIC ASSAULT AND RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY

April 11, 2014

Greg A. Smith, d/o/b: 4/22/1969, of Branson Missouri, pled guilty Thursday April 10, 2014, to the class C felonies of domestic assault second degree and receiving stolen property in the Circuit Court of Taney County. Judge Mark Orr sentenced Smith to serve sentences of three (3) years and five (5) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, respectively, pursuant to a plea agreement.

The domestic assault charge stemmed from an altercation on September 23, 2013, at the Branson Plaza Motel. During an argument with his estranged wife on that night, Greg Smith picked up a wooden cane and struck her on the head. When Branson Police officers responded to the motel, Smith admitted striking his wife with the cane, causing her injuries. Officers later responded to Cox Hospital to speak with the victim who stated that Smith struck her in the head with an object she could not identify.

Smith’s receiving stolen property charge resulted following several motor vehicle break-ins committed by teenagers in April of 2012. Greg Smith took cash and miscellaneous stolen personal property (including personal electronics) from the teens claiming he was going to return it to the crime victims. Instead, Smith kept the cash and other items – totaling over $500.00 – and never reported the vehicle break-ins to police.

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TRANSACTION WITH STOLEN CREDIT CARD RESULTS IN FOUR (4) YEAR PRISON SENTENCE

April 11, 2014

SHERYL L. DEPRIEST, d/o/b 9-11-1966, of Benton, Arkansas, pled guilty Thursday, April 10, 2014, to the class C felony of forgery in the Circuit Court of Taney County. Judge Mark Orr sentenced Depriest to serve four (4) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, pursuant to a plea agreement.

On September 20, 2013, an employee at Mercy health center in Springfield noticed her purse missing from the locker where she left it. The next day, the employee was alerted to fraudulent charges on her credit card – including a $285.00 charge at a Branson business. Branson Police Officer Frank Hirahara led the local investigation, and – using phone records of the Branson business – was able to contact a woman in Arkansas who identified Depriest as a possible suspect in using the stolen credit card. That investigative lead resulted in witnesses at the Branson business identifying Depriest in a photo line-up as the woman who used the credit card.

“This case is an example of cooperation and tenacious investigative work by officers from Branson and Springfield,” said Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell. “Quality investigations – such as this – result in quality prosecution.”

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