Fire devastates Whitehead Farm Supply in La Russell

LA RUSSELL, Mo. – A large fire left extensive damage at Whitehead Farm Supply in La Russell, Missouri Friday morning.

Firefighters received the call around 4:00 a.m. Avilla, Jasper, Carthage and Golden City Fire Departments responded to the scene. Crews had it under control before 6:00 a.m.

The fire leveled a building, however officials say no one was hurt. There’s no word yet on what caused the fire.

Details released in Avilla homicides

AVILLA, Mo. – Court documents reveal the man charged in a double homicide at an Avilla, Missouri home says he committed the crime after learning of his girlfriend’s murder.

According to a probable cause statement 24-year-old Kevin Clay Johnson admitted to going to 255 Greenfield Street in Avilla Saturday to see his girlfriend, Brylee Obanion. When he arrived, Johnson says he was told by Mason McClure that McClure and Nichole Hodges killed Obanion. The court documents say when Johnson was asked to go to the garage to help McClure with something, Johnson drew a gun and started shooting. McClure was shot in the back and Hodges fell away bleeding.

Officers found both dead on arrival the next day. Court documents say McClure was lying on his back with a small amount of blood pooled on the floor underneath and beside him on the left side. Hodges was across the room near the doorway to the kitchen on her right side with considerably more blood pooled.

Sunday evening Newton County authorities found Obanion’s body in a ditch in the area of State Line Road and Angus Drive. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

At 4:30 a.m. Feb. 22, police arrested Johnson for homicide. He stands charged with two counts of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting death of McClure and Hodges. Johnson admitted to ODET officers he was getting ready to flee the state.

Detectives are still investigating. They are not looking for any other suspects at this time.

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Names released of Avilla homicide victims

Police say murders in Newton County and Avilla appear connected

AVILLA, Mo. – Police in Jasper and Newton Counties investigate separate murders Sunday night. Authorities now say both homicide cases are connected.

At around 4:10 p.m. Newton County authorities responded to the area of State Line Road and Angus Drive on a call about a possible body in the ditch. Upon arrival deputies found the body of 25-year-old Brylee Obanion. Detectives immediately began a homicide investigation. The investigation led detectives to Jasper County where they were searching for two persons of interest. It was at that point Jasper County Deputies became involved.

Jasper County authorities are investigating a double homicide in Avilla, Missouri. Deputies dispatched to 255 Greenfield St. found the bodies of a male and female. Investigators believe both to be victims of murder. Monday at 4:30 a.m., police arrested a male suspect for the murders. He is currently being held in the Jasper County Jail awaiting formal charges. There are no other suspects being sought at this time.

Authorities say both murder cases are related. Autopsies for the bodies are scheduled today. The investigations are continuing with both Newton and Jasper County Deputies working together.