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MICHAEL ERB SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS FOR MOLESTATION FOLLOWING TRIAL

May 12, 2010

Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeffrey M. Merrell announced today that MICHAEL L. ERB, dob: 8/11/1968 of Hollister, Missouri was sentenced yesterday by Taney County Circuit Judge Mark Orr to ten (10) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for two counts of the class B felony of child molestation in the first degree. Probation was denied and both counts are to run concurrent. On December 1, 2009 a bench trial was held in Christian County on a change of venue motion filed by the defense.

Between May 1 and November 15, 2005 the defendant subjected two separate victims under the age of fourteen to sexual contact during sleepovers at his house in Hollister, Missouri. The Hollister Police Department investigated the allegations and the forensic interviews of the minor children were performed by the Child Advocacy Center in Branson West.

The class B felony of child molestation in the first degree has a range of punishment of five (5) to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Topics: News, Press Releases |

FORMER SCHOOL TEACHER RECEIVES TEN YEARS FOR CHILD MOLESTATION

May 11, 2010

Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeffrey M. Merrell announced today that MICHAEL HUNGERFORD, dob: 11/7/1955 of Powersite, Missouri was sentenced to ten (10) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for the class B felony of child molestation in the first degree by Taney County Circuit Judge Mark Orr. Probation was denied. On February 24, 2010 MICHAEL HUNGERFORD was found guilty after a three day jury trial in Christian County, Missouri.

On October 16, 2008, an eyewitness observed MICHAEL HUNGERFORD rubbing a ten year old student between the legs with his fingers in his classroom during school hours at the Forsyth Middle School. The ten year old student later disclosed this inappropriate rubbing during a forensic interview at the Child Advocacy Center in Springfield, Missouri. Investigation of the molestation and questioning of the defendant MICHAEL HUNGERFORD was completed by officers from the Forsyth Police Department.

The class B felony of child molestation in the first degree has a range of punishment of five (5) to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Topics: News, Press Releases |

APRIL 18-24 IS NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS RIGHTS WEEK

April 19, 2010

Since 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week has been observed with the goal of promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s theme is Crime Victim’s Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect. The theme captures the ideals that inspired the victims’ rights movement. Not so long ago victims were being excluded from courtrooms and blamed for their victimization, realities that unfortunately still exists for many victims. National Crime Victims’ Right Week serves as a call for action, an urgent summons for fairness, dignity, and respect for all victims of crime.

For more information about crime victim’s rights in Missouri please visit:

Missouri Revised Statutes: Rights of Crime Victims

Missouri Attorney General’s Office Information Page

For more information on National Crime Victims’ Right Week please visit:

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/ncvrw/welcome.html

Topics: News |

DON OWENS PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSION AND ATTEMPTED STEALING

April 19, 2010

Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeffrey M. Merrell announced today that DON OWENS, dob: 12-07-1974 plead guilty Thursday to the class A felony of possession of a controlled substance as a prior and persistent felony drug offender, and to the class C felony of attempted stealing as a prior and persistent felony offender. DON OWENS faces up to fifteen (15) years for the possession charge and seven (7) years for the attempted stealing. Formal sentencing is set for June 10, 2010 in front of Taney County Circuit Judge Mark Orr.

On February 18, 2010, Officers with the Branson Police Department responded to the Branson Landing to investigate a suspicious backpack that was left in front of an ATM machine. Inside the backpack officers discovered burglary tools and a small incendiary device. The Springfield Police Department Bomb Squad was brought in for security purposes to detonate the backpack. Later through surveillance video, DON OWENS was discovered to be the owner of the backpack. Upon a consent search of DON OWENS room at a local hotel , Branson Police Officers discovered a baggie containing a white crystal substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine as well as receipts tying DON OWENS to the backpack left in front of the ATM machine. Through their investigation, Branson detectives learned that DON OWENS was attempting to break into the ATM machine on the landing through a method he learned on the popular internet video site, YouTube.

Topics: News, Press Releases |


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