September 12, 2016
ROBERT LEE CAMPBELL, d/o/b 7-09-1944, of Willard, was sentenced Monday afternoon, September 12, 2016, in the Circuit Court of Jasper County, by Judge Gayle Crane, after being found guilty of murder in the second degree by a jury, in July. Judge Crane accepted the Jasper County jury’s recommendation of life on both counts of murder in the second degree, and, after hearing arguments on Monday, ordered that the life terms run consecutively with each other.
On July 13, 2016, the Jasper County jury returned two (2) guilty verdicts against Campbell for murder in the second degree, for Campbell’s role in soliciting the murders of Russell and Rebecca Porter, in April of 2011. The jury deliberated for several hours before reaching its verdicts. Following the guilty verdicts, the same jury heard evidence on sentencing, and delivered recommendations of life for each of the two (2) counts. Campbell’s trial was heard in Jasper County on a change of venue from Taney County – where Russell and Rebecca Porter’s remains were discovered in July of 2011.
Life is the maximum sentence for the class A felony of murder in the second degree. Life is generally calculated as thirty (30) years, by Missouri’s Department of Corrections.
September 9, 2016
BRYAN J. MATLOCK, d/o/b 10-15-1986, of Hollister, entered guilty pleas on Friday afternoon, September 9th, to the class B felony of abuse of a child and the class C felony of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree, in the Circuit Court of Taney County. Visiting Judge Craig Carter accepted Matlock’s guilty pleas, and scheduled sentencing for December 19, 2016.
On August 26, 2015, Matlock called 9-1-1 because his infant child was having difficulty breathing and was unresponsive. Matlock told Taney County Sheriff’s deputies that he had accidentally fallen on the child, then waited up to twenty (20) minutes after the child was injured to call 9-1-1. Later that day, doctors determined that the infant had serious injuries – including a subdural and subarachnoid hemorrhage and fractured rib, along with bruises and a possible bite mark – which doctors concluded were non-accidental.
Eventually, Matlock confessed to a Taney County detective that he had swung the infant by the feet as the child struck the wooden trim on a couch, had thrown the child on the couch multiple times, had squeezed the child, and had bitten the child that day. Matlock also admitted he had been physically abusing the child in the weeks preceding August 26, 2015. Matlock’s explanation for his abuse of the infant was that the child would not stop crying.
The class B felony of abuse of a child carries a range of punishment from five (5) to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The class C felony of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree carries a maximum sentence of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine.
August 24, 2016
On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, GREGORY M. JOHNSON a/k/a GREGOR JOHNSON, d/o/b 5-24-1981, of Branson, was sentenced to twenty (20) years in prison for the class A felony of pharmacy robbery in the first degree, twenty (20) years in prison for the unclassified felony of armed criminal action, and seven (7) years in prison for the class C felony of unlawful possession of a concealable firearm. Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson sentenced the defendant after hearing arguments from the Taney County Prosecutor’s office and defendant’s lawyer for well over an hour. Defendant had entered his guilty plea on May 19, 2016, without any plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.
Johnson’s convictions stem from his armed robbery of a pharmacy in Branson, on September 30, 2016, where he entered the business wearing a ski mask and brandishing a .45 caliber automatic handgun, demanding oxycodone pills from the employees. As Johnson was being handed a bag of pills, a pharmacist shot Johnson in the chest. Johnson fled the pharmacy, dropping the bag of pills, and firing his handgun in the direction of the employees. Johnson was found a short time later driving the vehicle he had fled the crime scene in. When interviewed by Detective Shane Keys of the Taney County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson confessed to committing the robbery. Johnson explained that his wife had stitched-up his gunshot wound and helped him dispose of his bloody clothes.
Johnson had a previous conviction from Colorado for felony tampering, which made his possession of the handgun a separate felony charge. The class A felony of pharmacy robbery carries a minimum sentence of ten (10) calendar years in the Missouri Department of Corrections – without the possibility of parole – and a maximum penalty of thirty (30) years. The felony of armed criminal action carries minimum punishment of three (3) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections – without the possibility of parole – and no maximum sentence. The class C felony of unlawful possession of a concealable firearm carries a maximum penalty of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine.
August 8, 2016
Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey M. Merrell announced that Friday, August 5, 2016, JOSHUA E. HOLLER a/k/a JOSHUA HOLLAR, d/o/b: 6-13-1986, of Branson, was sentenced by Christian County Associate Circuit Court Judge Doug Bacon to twelve (12) years in prison for the class B felony of abuse of a child. The sentence was the result of a plea agreement Holler made with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.
The felony charge stemmed from a call for emergency medical assistance that was needed for a sixteen-month-old child at an apartment on Cannonball Loop, in Branson, on July 31, 2015. The child was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where doctors determined that the child had suffered multiple serious, non-accidental injuries to his head and face. When questioned, Holler told investigators that he had tripped and fallen on the child while Holler was vacuuming the floor in the apartment, on July 28, 2015. Holler’s explanation did not match the injuries to the child, according to the child’s doctors.
The class B felony of abuse of a child carries a maximum sentence of not more than fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
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