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March 2, 2018

On Friday, March 2, 2018, KYLE W. WILLIAMS, d/o/b 3-21-1999, of Branson and JORDAN HALL, d/o/b 7-13-1998, of Arnold were sentenced by Christian County Circuit Judge Jennifer Growcock to the Missouri Department of Corrections for the torture and abuse of a kitten, which was filmed and posted on Facebook. Williams had previously entered guilty pleas to the felonies of animal abuse and armed criminal action and Hall had entered a guilty plea to animal abuse back on January 8, 2018. This case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Tony Brown.

“We are satisfied with the sentences handed down today by the Judge for this senseless act of depravity against a helpless kitten. We appreciate the help of good Samaritans in our digital community in reporting this crime as it might have gone unpunished without their assistance,” said Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeff Merrell in response to the sentence.

Neither defendant had an agreement with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office as to what sentence they might receive. Williams was sentenced to four (4) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for the class E felony of animal abuse, the maximum punishment, and three (3) years for the felony of armed criminal action. Judge Growcock ordered those sentences to be served consecutively. Hall was sentenced to four (4) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Williams also entered a guilty plea to the class B felony of possession of a weapon in a county jail, relating to the sharpening of a spork into a “shank” and received a five (5) year concurrent prison sentence for that offense.

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February 26, 2018

On Monday, February 26, 2018, TRISTAN R. CARR, d/o/b 7-25-1998, of Forsyth, pleaded guilty to charges of murder in the second degree and armed criminal action, in the Circuit Court of Greene County. Greene County Presiding Circuit Court Judge Michael Cordonnier accepted the guilty plea, ordered a sentencing assessment report, and scheduled Carr’s sentencing hearing for May 24, 2018. Pursuant to a plea agreement Carr made with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office, his sentence is capped at twenty (20) years on each of the two (2) felonies, and Carr’s sentences will run concurrently with one another.

Carr had been facing a charge of first degree murder, before the charge was amended to second degree murder for purposes of finalizing a plea agreement. According to the plea agreement, Carr’s sentences –whatever the sentences handed-down by the court – are to run concurrently with one another. Carr entered an Alford plea of guilty – meaning that he admits that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to prove his guilt, however, not requiring that he formally admit responsibility for the crimes.

At about dusk on October 15, 2016, Taney County 9-1-1 received a call for service from Carr at his home address on Skyline Drive, in Forsyth, in Taney County, Missouri. Carr lived at that home with his parents, but Carr and a friend were the only people at home that evening. Carr reported that he had shot his friend, Eric Summerfield. Officers and emergency responders made contact with defendant, Tristan Carr, at the residence, and found the body of Eric Summerfield bleeding in the road in front of Carr’s home. It was apparent to officers and medical personnel that Eric Summerfield, age eighteen (18), had suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Carr explained to investigators that he shot Summerfield because he was unable to tell who was approaching the front door, and shot out of fear. However, Carr had told the 9-1-1 operator that he was playing with the gun and accidentally shot Summerfield. The evidence at trial would have been that Carr had been target shooting with the same pistol used to kill Summerfield earlier the same day, and that Carr had invited Summerfield to his home just a short time before the shooting. Further evidence would be that the front porch lights of Carr’s home were on at the time of the shooting, and medical testimony would explain that the pistol’s muzzle was against Summerfield’s chest at the time of the fatal shot.  Multiple witnesses denied hearing an argument between Carr and Summerfield, and described them as friends.

Murder in the second degree carries a maximum penalty of thirty (30) years or life imprisonment – with the possibility of parole. Armed criminal action carries a minimum sentence of three (3) years in prison, with no maximum.

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February 26, 2018

On Monday, February 26, 2018, CORY DRAPER, d/o/b: 12/9/1989, of Branson, Missouri, entered a guilty plea to the class A felony of robbery in the first degree. Cory Draper was set to begin a jury trial in front of Taney County Circuit Judge Tony Williams next week. Formal sentencing is set for May 15, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.

On November 30, 2016, Cory Draper entered the Branson Target and was observed by Asset Protection personnel concealing an Xbox and related video games, valued at over $180.00 on his person. He was stopped by two uniformed employees when he exited the store. When he was stopped he told the employees they “could not stop him..” and he “…will do what was needed to leave.” When Draper was asked to step back into the store he pushed back his jacket revealing what appeared to be a semi-automatic pistol on his hip and stated he “would do what’s needed to leave.” At that point, employees allowed Draper to leave. He was later apprehended by Branson Police officers, after being identified in a photo-line up.

The class A felony of robbery in the first degree has a range of punishment of a term of not less than ten (10) years and not to exceed thirty (30) years, or life imprisonment, in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

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February 26, 2018

On Monday, February 26, 2018, Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeffrey M. Merrell announced that DEANGELO SHELBY, d/o/b: 10-8-1990, of Branson Missouri, entered a guilty plea to the class B felony of trafficking in stolen identities. Deangelo Shelby was set to begin a jury trial on March 5th, 2018 in front of Taney County Circuit Judge Tony Williams. Formal sentencing is scheduled for May 1, 2018.

On February 24, 2017, officers with the Branson Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance at 1103 Bird Road. During his investigation of the domestic disturbance, Officer Sheehan learned that Deangelo Shelby was in possession of stolen identities. When he questioned Shelby, Officer Sheehan recovered paperwork and items including credit cards, a social security card, credit card numbers, and a check. All the items recovered belonged to other people.

“I appreciate Officer Sheehan’s efforts in tracking down the victims in this case so they can be heard at sentencing, as identity theft is a devastating crime that has long-lasting effects on a person’s financial well-being,” said Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell, in response to the plea.

The class B felony of trafficking in stolen identities has a range of punishment of five (5) to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The Taney County Prosecutor’s Office has made no agreement with Shelby concerning what sentence he will receive – sometimes described as an “open plea.”

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