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April 30, 2015

On April 28, 2015, MONTY BARROWS JR., d/o/b 08-08-1984, of Kirbyville, entered guilty pleas in the Circuit Court of Christian County to the felonies of assault in the second degree, robbery in the second degree, and armed criminal action, before Taney County Associate Circuit Judge Tony W. Williams. Judge Williams accepted Barrows’ guilty plea and sentenced him to thirteen (13) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections on each count, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office. Barrows’ sentences are to run concurrently with one another.

Barrows’ charges stem from the robbery and assault of a tourist who was staying at the Willow Tree Inn, in Branson. Barrows, with other individuals, had a female knock on the victim’s door requesting to use a telephone. When the victim opened the door, Barrows and another male entered the room and Barrows began to assault the victim with a firearm. Barrows ordered the male co-defendant to collect the victim’s belongings – including U.S. Currency and a passport – while he continued to assault the victim. Barrows was later located hiding out in a home on Highland Street, in Branson, several days later.

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April 17, 2015

DOUGLAS E. OWINGS, d/o/b 8-09-1966, of Rockaway Beach, Missouri, pleaded guilty Thursday, April 16, 2015, to the class B felony of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, in the Circuit Court of Taney County. Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson sentenced Owings to fifteen (15) years in prison, pursuant to a plea agreement Owings made with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.

Owings was already on felony probation for drug crimes when the Taney County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at his home in Rockaway Beach, on January 27, 2015. Several grams of methamphetamine were discovered in Owings’ possession, and he admitted to officers that the drugs were his.

The class B felony of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute carries a maximum penalty of fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Two (2) other counts against Owings were dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

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April 17, 2015

On Thursday, April 16, 2015, JACOB “JAKE” KEMP, d/o/b 1-29-1994, of Cross Timbers, Missouri, entered guilty pleas in the Circuit Court of Taney County, to two (2) class A felonies of robbery in the first degree. Judge Laura Johnson accepted Kemp’s guilty pleas and scheduled sentencing to be argued on June 11, 2015. Pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office, Kemp’s sentence in each count will be capped at twenty (20) years in prison.

Kemp’s charges stem from two (2) armed robberies of Wal-Mart stores in Branson, occurring about twelve (12) hours apart, on September 20, 2013. Branson police were alerted to a robbery that happened just after 2 a.m. at the Wal-Mart store on Branson Hills Parkway, where a young man in his twenties showed a clerk what appeared to be a handgun, demanded cash and a carton of cigarettes, and fled. Later that same afternoon, Branson police were notified of a robbery at the Wal-Mart store on Highwy 76, where a man showed a gun and made off with cash from the automotive department. Based upon descriptions of witnesses and surveillance video, the suspect appeared to be the same in both robberies.

Eventually – thanks to the cooperation of several law enforcement agencies, as well as Kemp’s companions – Kemp was identified as the suspect, located at the Greene County jail, and questioned about the robberies. Kemp made admissions to a Branson Police detective about his motive for committing the robberies, and confirmed with the detective that the gun he showed the Wal-Mart clerks at each store was not real, and was merely a prop.

Each of these class A felonies carries a range of punishment from ten (10) years to thirty (30) years or life in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

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April 7, 2015

On Tuesday, April 7, 2015, STEPHEN N. GALLAGHER, d/o/b 5-01-1954, of Rockaway Beach, Missouri, entered a plea of guilty to the class D felony of attempted arson in the second degree, and entered an Alford plea of guilty to the class D felony of sexual misconduct involving a child by indecend exposure. The guilty pleas occurred in lieu of a bench trial scheduled to be held before Taney County Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson. Gallagher entered the pleas pursuant to an agreement whereby the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office would dismiss three (3) felony counts, and the sentences Gallagher could receive would be concurrent to each other. There is no plea agreement as to what sentence Gallagher will receive on the two (2) felonies to which he pled guilty. Sentencing was scheduled by Judge Johnson for July 23, 2015.

The charges stemmed from allegations that Gallagher had inappropriately touched and exposed himself to an eight-year-old girl on July 23, 2013, at his home in Rockaway Beach, Missouri. Upon being confronted by his wife about the allegations, Gallagher doused the home in gasoline and attempted to light a plush doll on fire in the living room. Gallagher was arrested on the date of the offenses, and has remained in custody since that time.

Both class D felonies carry a maximum sentence of up to four (4) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.00.

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