Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeffrey M. Merrell announced today that JAMES KEELER, dob: 07-13-1966 of Forsyth, Missouri was found guilty of the class C felony of assault in the second degree and the unclassified felony of armed criminal action by a ten (10) men, two (2) women Taney County Jury on Monday as a prior and persistent felony offender. The one day jury trial was held in front of Taney County Circuit Judge Mark Orr.
In the evening hours of November 8, 2008, Taney County Sheriff’s deputies where dispatched to a fight in progress at a trailer park on Mount Branson. At the trailer park deputies made contact with the landlord who told the deputies that he observed an individual loading items into an empty and unoccupied trailer. The landlord informed the deputies he went to confront the individual as to what he was doing in an empty trailer and the individual proceeded to attacked him with a rake and flee the area. Deputies were able to capture the individual, later identified as JAMES KEELER, at the Kwik Mart after deploying a taser device. Items recovered from the trailer included stolen musical equipment, drums and amplifiers from a reported theft case out of Hollister, Missouri.
Formal sentencing is set for October 1, 2009, at 10:30am. The class C felony of assault in the second degree has a range of punishment of one (1) day to one (1) year in the Taney County Jail, one (1) year to seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.Â However, as a prior and persistent felony offender, JAMES KEELER faces an enhanced range of punishment of up to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The unclassified felony of armed criminal action carries a minimum punishment of three (3) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.