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July 15, 2016

PHILIP W. RASMUSSEN, d/o/b 4-09-1960, of Branson, was found guilty of the class C felony of assault in the second degree by a Taney County jury, on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. The five-man, seven-woman jury deliberated for one-hour before delivering the guilty verdict, in the Circuit Court of Taney County. Judge Laura Johnson scheduled formal sentencing in Rasmussen’s case for September 15, 2016. Taney County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Kondro tried the case for the State of Missouri.

Rasmussen was charged with assault in the first degree after he punched a man in the throat on July 23, 2014, outside the Good Shepherd Inn, on Highway 76, in Branson. The victim had been directed by motel managers to ask Rasmussen to leave the premises, and – when he advised Rasmussen he needed to leave – Rasmussen struck the victim, chased the victim a short distance, and threw him over a chain-link fence. The victim suffered a fractured trachea that required surgery.

Because Rasmussen did not testify in his own defense, the jury did not get to hear about Rasmussen’s criminal history – which includes a Kentucky conviction for first-degree manslaughter. Rasmussen was also on parole in Arkansas for battery at the time he committed this assault. The maximum penalty for assault in the second degree is normally seven (7) years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine. However, Rasmussen was charged by the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office as a prior and persistent felony offender, enhancing the maximum possible sentence to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

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July 14, 2016

ROBERT LEE CAMPBELL, d/o/b 7-09-1944, of Willard, Missouri, was found guilty of two (2) counts of murder in the second degree on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in the Circuit Court of Jasper County, in Joplin. The six-man, six-woman jury deliberated for approximately ten (10) hours from July 12th through July 13th before arriving at the verdicts. Following a brief sentencing hearing, the same jury returned a recommendation of life sentences on both counts. Jasper County Circuit Court Judge Gayle Crane, scheduled formal sentencing for September 12, 2016.

Campbell was indicted by a Taney County grand jury in December of 2012 on two (2) counts of murder in the first degree, stemming from allegations that he had arranged for his brother-in-law, Tony Friend, to kidnap and murder Russell and Rebecca Porter on April 18, 2011, while Campbell was out-of-town. Tony Friend pleaded guilty in 2013, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


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July 14, 2016

ROBERT C. GRANT, d/o/b 3-30-1982, of Hollister, was sentenced to ten (10) years in prison, by Christian County Judge Doug Bacon, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, on Friday, July 8, 2016. Grant had entered a guilty plea on April 15, 2016, to the class B felony of burglary in the first degree, stemming from his middle-of-the-night invasion into a home on Texas Avenue, in Hollister, on April 10, 2015. Grant had been arrested at the scene of the crime on April 10th, and had remained in custody pending his plea and sentencing.

The class B felony of burglary in the first degree carries a maximum penalty of fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

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June 10, 2016

JOSEPH L. PETERMAN, d/o/b 7-07-1986, of Merriam Woods, was sentenced on Thursday, June 9, 2016, to ten (10) years in prison for assault in the second degree, and five (5) years for armed criminal action, relating to a stabbing that occurred outside a bar in Rockaway Beach, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Judge Laura Johnson sentenced Peterman to the maximum sentences contemplated by a plea agreement between Peterman and the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.

Peterman and his twin brother, Joshua Peterman, fought with – and stabbed – a male after leaving a bar in the early morning hours of August 15, 2014. The Peterman brothers fled the scene when a taxi driver stopped to help the victim. Peterman was not identified until January of 2015, when he and his twin brother returned to the same bar they had been at on August 15, 2014.

Joseph Peterman’s sentences are to run concurrently with each other. Joshua Peterman pleaded guilty to the same charges and received the exact same sentences on May 12, 2016.

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