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LATEST NEWS

BRANSON MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MURDER

May 21, 2018

Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell announced today that DAKOTA CLAYPOLE, d/o/b 7-15-1995, of Branson, entered a guilty plea to the felonies of murder in the second degree and armed criminal action, in the Circuit Court of Greene County, Missouri. Circuit Judge Calvin Holden accepted Claypole’s guilty pleas, ordered a sentencing assessment report, and scheduled formal sentencing for August 3, 2018 at 2pm.

Claypole’s charges stemmed from a shooting on January 16, 2017, at a residence on Rainbow Drive, in Branson. Taney County Sheriff deputies responded to the residence and discovered Daxton Drake, age 22 years, had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Drake was pronounced dead at the scene. A witness – who was romantically involved with both Claypole and Drake – explained that she and Drake were in bed together when Claypole walked up the stairs leading into the bedroom, and brandished a handgun. Claypole verbally confronted Drake and fired a gunshot in his direction. Then, Drake stood up and Claypole fired multiple gunshots into Drake, killing him. Claypole fled the residence driving Drake’s automobile and was arrested by Highway Patrol Troopers and Branson Police Officers a few miles away.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Claypole pled guilty to the amended charge of murder in the second degree – which had formerly been murder in the first degree. The Taney County Prosecutor’s Office entered an agreement with Claypole’s attorney that the sentences handed-down by Judge Holden will be served concurrently with one another.

The class A felony of murder in the second degree carries a maximum penalty of thirty (30) years or life imprisonment – with the possibility of parole. The unclassified felony of armed criminal action carries a minimum sentence of three (3) years in prison, with no maximum.

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BRANSON MAN RECEIVES CONSECUTIVE SENTENCE FOR STATUTORY RAPE

May 17, 2018

On Thursday, May 17, 2018, KYLE LEE SMITH, d/o/b 10-27-1987, of Branson, was sentenced to five (5) years in prison for two (2) counts of statutory rape in the second degree, consecutive to a federal sentence, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, Missouri. In February, Smith appeared in custody before Associate Circuit Court Judge Eric Eighmy and admitted to having sexual intercourse in the summer of 2015 with two (2) underage girls on separate occasions. On Thursday, Judge Eighmy heard sentencing arguments from Smith’s attorney and from Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shana Mora, of the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office, before he ordered Smith to serve his prison sentence for the State of Missouri consecutive to his current federal sentence of fifteen (15) years.

The victims disclosed that in the summer of 2015 Smith engaged in sexual intercourse with them at his home in Branson – and each girl disclosed separate incidents. Smith was interviewed by an investigator and denied the allegations. DNA was discovered on an item of clothing belonging to one victim through the course of the investigation, and was found by criminalists at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab to be semen – consistent with the DNA profile of Kyle Lee Smith. Smith is a former teacher at an Arkansas high school.

Topics: News |

DEA DRUG TAKE BACK DAY

April 28, 2018

TODAY is DEA Drug Take Back day! Check your home for unused or expired prescriptions and help fight the opioid epidemic. Find a location to safely and securely dispose of your prescription medications at www.DEATakeBack.com

Topics: News |

DRUG COURT OPERATION TUNE-UP TRAINING

April 28, 2018

Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell along with members of the Taney County Drug Court Team had a great training this week at the Drug Court Tune-Up in Springfield, Missouri. The Drug Court Tune-Up provides advanced training to seasoned treatment court teams and teaches the latest research and best practices, while assessing current practices and finding ways to improve.

 

For more information about the Drug Court Program and how it can help people with addiction problems please visit the National Drug Court Institute at http://www.ncdi.org

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