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May 3, 2017

BOBBIE L. WHITE (d/o/b 1-7-1952) of Branson entered guilty pleas today to the class B felony of driving while intoxicated as a chronic offender and the class D felony driving while suspended before Associate Circuit Court Judge Eric Eighmy. Pursuant to a plea with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office, WHITE was sentenced to nine (9) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for driving while intoxicated and four (4) years for driving while suspended. WHITE had five (5) prior intoxication-related traffic offenses and must serve two (2) years before being eligible for parole.

WHITE was stopped for operating a motor vehicle without working headlights on August 30, 2016 in Branson. The officer believed from his contact with WHITE that he had been consuming alcohol and was driving while under the influence. WHITE submitted to a sample of his breath and a breathalyzer indicated his blood alcohol content was .149%, above the legal limit of .08%. While pending trial for that case, WHITE was again stopped for a traffic violation on November 21, 2016 by the Taney County Sheriff’s Office and was cited for driving with a suspended license.

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May 2, 2017

TASHIA CURLEY, dob 11/24/1986 of Nixa, Missouri, entered a guilty plea today to the class A felony of assault in the first degree and the class C felony of felonious restraint, in front of Senior Judge John Waters.

On July 26, 2017, during a house party at a residence off of Hall Drive in Branson, Missouri, TASHIA CURLEY got mad at a partygoer and proceeded to assault her with a bat. The victim was struck in the head multiple times by CURLEY and suffered lacerations, bruising and facial trauma. After the assault, CURLEY and an accomplice dragged the victim to a Chevrolet Suburban and held her against her will. Two eyewitnesses observed CURLEY driving the Suburban towards Branson on State Highway 76 while dragging the victim on the pavement from a passenger door. CURLEY and her accomplice were later located at a residence in Springfield, Missouri, where they fled from law enforcement.  The Chevrolet Suburban was later recovered from a residence in Ozark, Missouri, and processed for evidence by the Taney County Sheriff’s Department.

“This was a horrific act of inexcusable violence and without the hard work and tenacity of Detective Shane Keys and other members of the Taney County Sheriff’s Department – in securing all of the incriminating evidence – we would not have been able to secure a successful plea of guilty today,” said Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey M. Merrell.

Formal sentencing in this matter is set for June 27, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. The range of punishment for a class A felony is imprisonment in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections for a term of years not less than ten (10) years and not to exceed thirty (30) years, or life imprisonment. The class C felony of felonious restraint has a maximum penalty of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine. Under the terms of the plea, TASHIA CURLEY faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment for the assault and felonious restraint.

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April 18, 2017

On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, ROBERT E. GRANT, d/o/b 8-25-1979, of Cedarcreek, Missouri, pleaded guilty to the class C felonies of burglary in the second degree and tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree, for breaking into the Cedarcreek Fire Station on December 21, 2016, driving a fire truck through the bay door, and burning the fire truck. Circuit Court Judge Tony Williams sentenced Grant to thirteen (13) years in prison on each of the two (2) counts, and ordered Grant to pay restitution of over $18,000.00, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office. Grant was denied probation and his sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

In the early morning hours of December 21, 2016, Grant and another male drove to the Cedarcreek Fire Station on M Highway, where they forced entry into the building. The men stole several items from inside the fire station before driving one of the fire trucks through the fire engine bay’s retractable door. When the men crashed the truck through the door, the station’s walls were damaged and the door was destroyed. Later that morning, the fire truck was found abandoned and ablaze in a creek bed. Some stolen items from the fire station were recovered in a car Grant and the other male had borrowed from a friend. Surveillance cameras recorded the men committing the break-in.

“While this sentence will not un-do the damage caused by Mr. Grant and his accomplice, I hope that it shows Mr. Grant and others that our community takes this pointless property destruction seriously,” said Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell. “The absence of emergency equipment caused by this vandalism presents an obvious community safety issue, and creates a dangerous ripple-effect in our community that no sentence against Mr. Grant can correct.” Representatives of the Cedarcreek Volunteer Fire Department indicated that approximately three (3) fires burned longer than necessary due to delays caused by the unavailability of Cedarcreek’s fire truck. Because the damaged truck was not covered by insurance, it has not been replaced, yet.

These class C felonies normally carry a maximum penalty of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine. However, Grant was charged by the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office as a prior and persistent felony offender, because Grant has at least two (2) prior felony convictions. Grant’s prior and persistent felony offender status enhanced the possible maximum sentence in each of Grant’s charges to a term of fifteen (15) years in prison.

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April 11, 2017

On Tuesday, April 11, 2017, RODNEY J. SHIVELHOOD, d/o/b 12-19-1963, of Branson, pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Taney County to the class E felony of harassment in the first degree, and was sentenced to three (3) years in prison. Circuit Court Judge Tony Williams accepted the guilty plea and sentenced Shivelhood pursuant to a plea agreement Shivelhood made with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.

Shivelhood had sent threatening text messages to his neighbors on January 18 through 19, of 2017, including a claim that he was going to burn down the house of one neighbor. Copies of multiple text messages were recovered by the Taney County Sheriff’s Office, proving the existence of the threats.

Starting January 1, 2017, the State of Missouri recognizes a class E felony, such as for harassment in the first degree, which carries a maximum penalty of up to four (4) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine of up to $10,000.00.

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