On Thursday, November 4, 2010, Donald Shane Sperling (d.o.b. 07/02/1969) was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr to twenty-five (25) years in prison for first-degree domestic assault and twenty-five (25) years in prison for armed criminal action. Probation was denied.

On August 10, 2010, a 4-man, 8-woman jury deliberated for less than 15 minutes before returning a guilty verdict against Donald Shane Sperling, alias Donald Shane Kennemer, alias Donald S. Kenner, of Ava, Missouri. Sperling stood trial for first-degree domestic assault and armed criminal action stemming from a stabbing in Hollister on June 25, 2009. The Taney County Prosecutor’s Office alleged that Sperling stabbed his live-in girlfriend nine times in the front yard of her residence. The victim entered her home, bleeding uncontrollably, and told her teenage son and his friends she had been “hit” by Sperling. The victim’s 17-year old son ran outside in search of Sperling, but Sperling had fled the area. The victim’s son then organized his friends to assist him in putting pressure on his mother’s wounds, calling 9-1-1, and driving his mother to meet paramedics at the McDonald’s parking lot in Hollister, Missouri.

Taney County Sheriff’s deputies investigated the scene of the assault, finding trails of blood, but no sign of Sperling. A locked Ford Tempo was parked outside the residence while officers canvassed the neighborhood and adjacent wooded-area for the defendant on June 25th and 26th. Approximately one-half hour after officers left the residence, neighbors noticed that the Ford Tempo was gone. The car was reported stolen and found several days later abandoned in Springfield, Missouri. At midday on June 26th, Sperling turned himself in at the Ava Police Department with the explanation that he believed Taney County was looking for him. Ava officers noticed fresh scratches covering the arms of Sperling, and the scratches were photographed. No explanation could be provided for how Sperling arrived in Ava after the stabbing.

“The professional investigative work done by the Taney County Sheriff’s Department made this case strong, and made this sentence possible,” said Jeffrey Merrell, Taney County Prosecuting Attorney. “The twenty-five year sentence definitely fit this crime.”

The Taney County Prosecutor’s Office had charged Sperling as a prior and persistent offender, due to him having at least two previous felony convictions. Although the two twenty-five (25) year sentences were ordered by the Court to be served concurrently, Sperling will be required by the Missouri Department of Corrections to serve at least 85% of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.