August 29, 2011
Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeffrey M. Merrell, announced today that DAVID EARL BLACKMORE, II, DOB: 4/11/1966, of Fremont, California, entered a guilty plea Monday to four (4) felonies, in the Taney County Circuit Court, just moments before jury selection began in his trial. Blackmore pleaded guilty to the charges of robbery in the first degree, burglary in the first degree, felonious restraint, and armed criminal action. Taney County Circuit Judge Mark Orr, accepted Blackmoreâ€™s guilty plea and scheduled sentencing for October 20, 2011.
August 12, 2011
On Thursday, August 11, 2011, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, Judge Mark Orr sentenced Ann Margaret Williams (d.o.b. 04/09/1966), of Protem, Missouri, to twelve (12) years in prison for the crime of promoting prostitution, and to seven (7) years for endangering the welfare of a child. Judge Orr ordered that the two sentences are to be concurrent with one another. Williams had been found guilty by a seven-man, five-woman jury of those two felonies in Taney County on June 7, 2011.
The evidence in the case presented by the Taney County Prosecuting Attorneyâ€™s Office was that, in late-December 2006 through 2007, Williams forced her fifteen-year-old daughter to have sex with Billy Joe Hunter (d.o.b. 05/06/1947), of Protem, Missouri. The prosecution alleged that Williams did this in order to persuade Hunter to allow she and her children to reside with Hunter, as well as to persuade Hunter to have sex with the defendant following her daughter. In 2008, Williamsâ€™ daughter gave birth to a child, and DNA evidence proved the child was Hunterâ€™s. Just before the baby was born, Williamsâ€™ daughter told investigators that Williams actually required her to have sex with Hunter, that the daughter received money from Hunter for sex, and that Williams was present during all but one of the numerous sexual encounters.
July 28, 2011
On Wednesday, July 27, 2011, in Ozark, Missouri, Robert David Nelson (d/o/b 6/22/1965) was found guilty by a Christian County jury of attempted statutory sodomy in the first degree, statutory rape in the first degree, two (2) counts of child molestation in the first degree, and two (2) counts of sexual misconduct with a child by indecent exposure. The nine-woman, three-man jury deliberated for just under two (2) hours before arriving at the unanimous guilty verdicts on all charges. Nelson represented himself during the jury trial.
July 24, 2011
Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeffrey M. Merrell, announced today that MANUEL C. CORTEZ, DOB: 06/06/1956, of Branson, Missouri, was sentenced on Thursday, July 21, 2011, to seven (7) years in prison by Judge Mark Orr in the Taney County Circuit Court. On May 17, 2011, Cortez was found guilty by a Taney County jury of the class C felony of Deviate Sexual Assault. As a result of the verdict and sentence, Cortez will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.
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