October 10, 2010
Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey M. Merrell announced today that MICHAEL L. FONTANA, dob: 10/14/1974 of Branson, Missouri entered a “stand up” plea to four felony cases in front of Taney County Circuit Judge Mark Orr last Thursday. MICHAEL L. FONTANA entered a plea of guilty without a plea agreement to two counts of the class C felony of stealing, one count of the class B felony of sale of a controlled substance and one count of the class C felony possession of a controlled substance.
On April 24, 2008 an undercover officer with the C.O.M.E.T drug task force purchased approximately one and half grams of methamphetaine from MICHAEL L. FONTANA outside the Shady Oaks Motel in Branson.
On September 19, 2008 MICHAEL L. FONTANA entered the Walmart Supercenter in Branson, Missouri and stole a laptop valued in excess of $500. MICHAEL L. FONTANA was identified from a survellience video that should him tampering with the security case for the laptop display and concealing the laptop in his pants as he left the store.
Between June 16, 2009 and July 21, 2009 MICHAEL L. FONTANA entered the Target Store in Branson, Missouri on multiple occassions and removed digital cameras from their packages and concealed them in his pocket before leaving the store. MICHAEL L. FONTANA was again identifed from survelliance videos showing the thefts.
On Janaury 28, 2010, members of the Taney County Sheriff’s Department, Branson Police Department, and C.O.M.E.T. Drug Task force served a search warrant on a hotel room at the Branson Inn. During execution of the search warrant officers remobed methamphetamine, methamphetamine parpahernalia and marijuana from the room. MICHAEL L. FONTANA was removed from the hotel room and arrested.
Formal sentencing is set for December 9th, 2010. As there was no plea agreement in connection with these charges, MICHAEL L. FONTANA faces the entire range of punishment for each offense. The class B felony of sale of a controlled substance has a range of punishment of five (5) years to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The two counts of the class C felony of stealing and the one count of the class C felony of possession of a controlled substance each have a range punishment of one day (1) to one year (1) in the Taney County Jail, or one (1) year to seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.
October 10, 2010
Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeffrey M. Merrell announced today that LOUISE L. KILGORE, dob: 7/3/1971 of Branson, Missouri plead guity without a plea agreement Friday in front of Christian County Associate Circuit Judge Larry Luna to the class B felony of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
On Octobr 21, 2008 membrs of the C.O.M.E.T Drug Task Force executed a search wwarrant at the residence of LOUISE KILGORE in Branson, Taney County, Missouri. During a search of the residence of LOUISE KILGORE, officers located plastic bags, digital scales, methamphetamine pipes, over 10,000 dollars, and a large quantity of methamphetamine.
Formal sentencing is set for December 21, 2010. The class B felony of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute has a range of punishment of five (5) to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
October 1, 2010
On Friday, October 1, 2010, a 4-man, 8-woman jury returned a guilty verdict against ROBERT D. NELSON, of Kissee Mills (d.o.b. 07/02/1969), on two counts of first degree child molestation. Nelson was on trial for molesting a nine-year-old girl at his Taney County home in May of 2005. Trial began on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, in Ozark, due to a change of venue. Jury deliberations began at about 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 30th, after closing arguments. The jury deliberated nearly nine hours from Thursday through Friday morning.
The two first-degree child molestation counts had originally been part of an eight-count felony information, but the counts were severed by the Court. ROBERT D. NELSON still awaits trial on the remaining six counts, which involve two other alleged victims.
â€œThis case was hard-fought, and not easy on the witnesses or the jurors. Iâ€™m extremely proud of the victimâ€™s bravery in facing her abuser in open court, and enduring a difficult cross-examination,â€ said Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeffrey Merrell. â€œIâ€™m thankful that this allegation was brought to our attention. Although originally reported in 2005, these counts were not filed until 2009. Thatâ€™s when the original reports were brought to me.â€
ROBERT D. NELSON was already on Taney Countyâ€™s sex offender registry at the time of the 2005 offenses. No sentencing date has been scheduled. Each count of the class B felony of child molestation in the first degree carries a range of punishment of five (5) to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Please be advised that the pending charges filed against the defendant ROBERT D. NELSON are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless prove guilty.
September 24, 2010
FORSYTH, MO â€“ Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey M. Merrell announced today that CHAD MORELAND, dob: 03/21/1972 of Roland, Arkansas entered a â€œstand upâ€ plea Wednesday to the class B felony of robbery in the first degree as a prior and persistent felony offender. Formal sentencing is set for November 18, 2010 in front of Taney County Circuit Judge Mark Orr. As there was no plea agreement in this case, CHAD MORELAND faces the entire range of punishment.
On January 27, 2010, CHAD MORELAND entered the Great Southern Bank on West Highway 76 in Branson, approached the bank teller with his right hand in his pocket and demanded money stating, â€œthis is a robbery, give me all your money.â€ The teller turned over her money and CHAD MORELAND fled from the scene. Branson Police were able to apprehend CHAD MORELAND from a license plate number taken down by an eyewitness. Formal sentencing is set for November 18, 2010. DNA swabs obtained from the teller window had been sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol for testing.
As a prior and persistent felony offender, CHAD MORELAND faces the maximum range of punishment for the that of an A felony of up to thirty years, or life imprisonment in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
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