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LANGFORD FOUND GUILTY BY TANEY COUNTY JURY

September 17, 2012

On Monday, September 17, 2012, a six-woman, six-man Taney County jury found DONALD WILLIAM LANGFORD (d/o/b 5/09/1974), of Branson, guilty of the class C felony of forgery. The trial began Monday morning and the guilty verdict was delivered to Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr by 3:20 p.m. Assistant Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Kacey Proctor presented evidence that Langford gave a convenience store clerk a counterfeit fifty-dollar bill on July 4, 2010. Judge Orr set Langford’s sentencing date for November 15, 2012.

The range of punishment for a class C felony is up to seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.00.

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ALAN RAY SENTENCED TO FIVE (5) YEARS FOR FELONY DOMESTIC ASSAULT

September 7, 2012

FORSYTH, MO – Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey M. Merrell announced that Thursday, September 6, 2012, ALAN S. RAY, d/o/b: 02-15-1971, of Branson, was sentenced by Taney County Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr to five (5) years in prison for the class C felony of domestic assault in the second degree. The sentence was the result of a plea agreement Ray had made with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.

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CONSECUTIVE LIFE SENTENCES FOR NELSON

September 6, 2012

On Wednesday, September 5, 2012, in Ozark, Missouri, Robert David Nelson (d/o/b 6/22/1965) was sentenced by Judge John Moody to consecutive life sentences for attempted statutory sodomy in the first degree and statutory rape in the first degree. The sentences were the result of the July 27, 2011, Christian County jury verdict finding Nelson guilty of six (6) counts of felony sex crimes committed by Nelson against his step-daughters in Taney County, in 2008.

In addition to the two (2) life sentences, Nelson was also sentenced to consecutive fifteen (15) year prison sentences on two (2) counts of child molestation in the first degree, and consecutive four (4) year sentences on two (2) counts of sexual misconduct with a child by indecent exposure. Nelson represented himself during the jury trial.

The charges stemmed from allegations that Nelson sexually abused two (2) young girls, ages 4 and 7, in his home in Kissee Mills, Taney County, Missouri, from May 2008 through the end of June 2008. A child abuse hotline call prompted an investigation that led to Nelson’s home, where he was found to be alone with three (3) children who were not his. Nelson had been given power of attorney by the children’s mother so that Nelson could care for the children while their mother was serving a prison sentence. It was during the six (6) weeks Nelson cared for the children alone that the sexual assaults were alleged to have occurred.

Nelson’s wife, Mia Michelle Smith, was found guilty earlier this year of two (2) counts of endangering the welfare of a child for having left her children with Nelson, where they were abused. She is currently serving concurrent eight (8) year prison sentences for those convictions.

Nelson was already on the Taney County sex offender registry before being left with the victims and their sibling in 2008. Nelson was also convicted of two (2) counts of child molestation in the first degree after a jury verdict from Christian County on October 1, 2010. Nelson has already been serving a twenty (20) year prison sentence from that 2010 guilty verdict.

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HOPKINS FOUND GUILTY OF FIRST DEGREE MURDER

September 5, 2012

On Tuesday, September 4, 2012, a 7-woman, 5-man Taney County jury returned guilty verdicts against Stewart Ralph Hopkins (d.o.b. 4-03-1965) of Stockton, Missouri, for the crimes of murder in the first degree and armed criminal action. The trial began on Monday, August 27th and continued until closing arguments ended early Tuesday afternoon, September 4th. The jury deliberated for over five (5) hours before arriving at the guilty verdicts on the charges filed by the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office, stemming from the murder of Stacy Birmingham back in October of 2010.

Murder in the first degree carries the sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Armed criminal action carries no maximum penalty. Taney County Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr scheduled sentencing for November 15, 2012.

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