2 of 9 sentenced in 2020 Lawrence County murder

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Mo. – The first 2 of 9 suspects in a Lawrence County murder learn their fate.

In 2020, authorities say 9 people played a role in the shooting death of Sarah C. Pasco, 27, of Aurora, Missouri. They were also involved in the non-fatal shooting of another woman. She told deputies her friend had been killed. Authorities did not identify the surviving victim.

Gary Hunter, Jr., 23, and Diona Parks, 26, both took a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. A judge gave Hunter 40 years in prison and Parks 30 years.

2020 Lawrence County Murder

On August 16, at around 10:14 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about shots fired. Deputies arrived at the location and found a woman shot multiple times. Emergency personnel airlifted her critical condition. She later was able to speak with detectives at Mercy Hospital in Springfield.

(Previous Story: Authorities investigate double shooting homicide in Lawrence County)

Deputies say the woman told them her friend had been killed at another location in Lawrence County. After a search, they found Pasco’s body.

The surviving victim and some of the suspects have spoken to investigators about the crime.

Prosecutors say the suspects kidnapped Pasco and a second female victim, forced them to dig their own grave, and then shot them. The suspects then left them for dead.

The surviving victim says she was hiding under Pasco while one suspect was firing into the well, according to court documents. She says she was shot while inside the well and played dead until they left. She also told a detective that while at the well, she remembered seeing Dunham with Pasco’s sunglasses on her head.

You can read more details from court documents here: 9 arrested as documents detail a Lawrence County murder


By Aug. 20, 2020, all 9 suspects were in custody. Prosecutors filed the following charges.

  • Gary W. Hunter, Jr., 23, Mt. Vernon – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Steven C. Calverley. 29, Republic – Requested charges of Murder 1st Degree, 1st Degree Assault,  Tampering with Evidence
  • Lyle B. Delong – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Andrew J. Cypret – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Diona L. Parks – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Frank J. Sheridan, 27, Aurora – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Kimberly K. Henderson, 47, Stotts City – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Siera Dunham – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Christina Knapp – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree

(Previous Story: Two more suspects arrested in Lawrence County murder)


Man with 11 outstanding warrants found hiding in Lamar

LAMAR, Mo. — A man with 11 outstanding warrants was arrested Monday while after attempting to hide from police in a Lamar home.

Garrett Jones, wanted on 11 warrants for his arrest, was known to be hiding from authorities. During an attempt to locate Jones, a Deputy with the Barton County Sheriff’s Office was visiting the address of Jones’ last known address.

Though unsuccessful in his first location, the deputy tried another house at 1006 Grand St. in Lamar. It was here that when questioned about Jones whereabouts that the residents turned all the lights off inside, according to a Facebook post by the BCSO.

Deputies along with officers with the Lamar Police Department secured the area until a search warrant was obtained. After this, authorities entered through the back door and found a female and child inside.

After searching through more of the house, Garrett Jones was eventually found hiding under a bed. He is now in custody at the Barton County Jail and facing charges.

Jones was facing the following warrants:

  • Fail to Appear – Driving while revoked/ suspended X3
  • Fail to Appear – Exceeded posted speed limit
  • Fail to Appear – Operate motor vehicle on highway with suspended license
  • Fail to Appear – Operate motor vehicle without financial responsibility
  • Fail to Appear – Drug Paraphernalia
  • Fail to Appear – Possession of Controlled Substance X3
  • Fail to Appear – Unlawful Possession of Firearm

140 mph pursuit from Miami into Craig County, 5 armed subjects fled

OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. – Shortly after 9:15 p.m. an NEO Campus police officer initiated a pursuit of a vehicle that fled onto the I-44 Will Rogers Turnpike to the west, traveling into Craig County.

Spike strips were successful in stopping the vehicle near mile marker 292.

A pursuit that was initiated in Miami reaching speeds of 140 mph was terminated at mile marker 292 on I-44. 5 armed subjects fled on foot,” according to the Craig County Sheriff’s office in a release of information.

They have launched a drone with thermal imaging to allow officers to see in the dark.

Craig County Sheriff stated as of 10:28 p.m. “This is approx 1/2 mile east of the intersection of 250 Rd and 4430 Rd. 2 subjects have been taken into custody on 4430 Rd. 3 remain at large at this time. If you live in the area please secure your home and vehicles and be vigilant. Call 911 if you hear or see anything suspicious.”

All subjects were located after midnight.

The Miami Okla. Police Dept released a statement at 1:00 a.m.
“Miami Police assisted NEO PD and several other county units tonight in a pursuit that started on East Central and M St just south of NEO campus. The suspects fled at over 130 MPH on the turnpike and crashed their vehicle. The suspects then fled on foot into a field just north of Vinita Oklahoma. Miami UAS support team was called in to fly the area and located the suspects located here hiding in a tree grove in a field. We were able to guide Officers on the ground directly to the suspects and they were arrested without incident. Great team work by OHP Craig county Vinita PD and numerous Ottawa county departments. Great example of departments working together to make our community better.”

Carthage man flees after jail sentencing

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Carthage man is in custody after attempting to run out of the courtroom following his sentencing Monday morning.

Jasper County Sheriff Randy Kaiser said in a release it started after Judge Gayle Crane in Division 1 Court ordered 21-year-old, Jacob Lee Jones to be taken into custody just after 10:00 AM on January 24th.

Jones, originally from Carthage, instead resisted arrest and fled into the hallway of the Joplin Courts Building and eventually into another area of the building. Deputies were able to catch Jones only after receiving minor injuries during the scuffle.


The Sheriff’s Office has submitted charges to the Jasper County Prosecutor for:

  • Assault on Law Enforcement Officers – Two counts
  • Property Damage
  • Resisting Arrest by Fleeing

Carthage man assaults deputies during pre-trial conference

JOPLIN, Mo. – A Carthage man flees authorities during court, struggles with deputies and now could face new charges.

Jacob Lee Jones, 21, had a pre-trial conference today, Jan. 24, 2022, at the Joplin Courts Building in Joplin. He appeared on a charge of tampering with a motor vehicle in 2019.

Judge Gayle Crane in Division 1 Court ordered deputies to take Jones into custody. That’s when authorities say Jones tried to run from the courtroom.

The Sheriff’s Office states, “He made it out into the hallway and into another area of the court where he was immediately apprehended. During the struggle, two deputies received minor injuries.”

Authorities submitted the following requested charges to the Jasper County Prosecutor:

  • 2 counts of assault on a law enforcement officer
  • property damage
  • resisting arrest by fleeing

News to Know: 2 men allegedly hold teen girls against their will, and snowflake suncatchers

JASPER COUNTY, Mo. – Two Jasper County men are behind bars after two underage girls are discovered in a home. On Friday, Jasper County deputies responded to a home in Joplin in order to check the welfare of a 13-year-old girl who had been reported missing from East Prairie, Missouri. During the investigation, authorities learned 19-year-old Grant Henson had driven to East Prairie, picked up the girl, and brought her back to his home. Officials say she was held against her will and sexually assaulted. Grant has been charged with First Degree Kidnapping and First Degree Sodomy. He is held without bond. The investigation also revealed another man in the home, 22-year-old Bryan Henson with a 16-year-old girl. Bryan was arrested and charged with 2nd Degree Statutory Rape. He’s being held on a $100-thousand dollar bond.

JASPER COUNTY, Mo. – Jasper County 911 Emergency Services are alerted to a fire just south of County Road 120 and MO-96 along Old 66 Blvd. This fire happened just after noon on Saturday. Carthage Fire, Mercy Ambulance and Avilla Fire responded as mutual aid. Jasper County Sheriff’s deputies assisted. Deputies on scene say everyone mad it out of the home safely.

JOPLIN, Mo. – This might sound odd, but some folks in Joplin were able to see snow on Saturday. The Spiva Center for the arts hosted a class teaching people how to make snowflake suncatchers. They are made out of fused glass, so participants cut the glass, layered it, and then the instructor took it home and put it in her kiln. Jane Mculley, a local art instructor, says it’s her way to bring winter to the area.

ARMA, Kan. – Omicron cases are definitely not a school district’s best friend and have even forced some to close. However, there are some school districts that have been able to stay open. One of those is northeast USD 246 located in Arma. School officials there say many staff members have stepped into roles they don’t normally fill. The superintendent, for example, is serving lunch at the elementary school, as the cafeteria staff is down from six to two. The Northeast Elementary’ principal says no one on staff has complained about helping, in fact, they’re always asking where they can help next.

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: Jim Henson’s Fraggles are back with a brand new series, “Down at the Fraggle Rock.” Talk about bringing back memories!!!! This morning we are asking what is/was your favorite children’s show? Join our KOAM Facebook discussion below and cast your vote at koamnewsnows.com/vote.



Two Jasper County men arrested; charged after underage girls found in home.

JASPER COUNTY, Mo. – Jasper County Deputies arrested two men after underage girls were found inside their home.

On Jan. 21, deputies responded to a request to check in on a 13-year-old girl after a caller reported her missing out of East Prairie, Missouri.

According to police, Grant Henson, 19,  drove five hours to East Prairie and picked up the 13-year-old girl. He then drove her back to Jasper County to his residence located at 4183 W. Cactus Lane.

Here, Henson held the young girl against her will and sexually assaulted her, according to police documents.

Deputies arrested Grant, and the Jasper County Prosecutor’s Office filed Kidnapping and Sodomy charges. The judge set no bond for Grant.

Second victim discovered

During the investigation, Police also located Bryan Henson, 22, with a 16-year-old female juvenile inside the residence.

Officers arrested Bryan, and the Jasper County Prosecutor’s Office filed Statutory Rape charges. The Judge set Bryan’s bond at $100,000.


Missouri man who stole vehicle with body inside sentenced

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A 39-year-old man who admitted that he stole a mortuary van with a body inside last year has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Brian Schaake was sentenced Friday for a felony charge of stealing a motor vehicle. He pleaded guilty in October.

Investigators said Schaake and a woman took a van belonging to the William Harris Funeral home from a Quik Trip in north St. Louis County on Feb. 11.

The two were later arrested in Festus and the body was recovered. A case against the woman, 31-year-old Christina Kalb, is pending in St. Louis County court.


Delaware County man accused of raping and torturing woman to stand trial in March

JAY, Okla. — A Delaware County man charged with repeatedly torturing and raping a woman over a four-day period will stand trial.

Jake Atkins, 26, of Colcord

Jake Atkins, 26, of Colcord appeared in court on Jan. 19 and requested a jury trial on 13 charges.  The trial is set for March 14 before District Judge Barry Denney.

Atkins’ is charged in Delaware County District Court with two counts of assault and battery with intent to kill, first-degree rape – by force and fear, sodomy – by force and fear, two counts of kidnapping, five counts of domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, possession of firearms after conviction, maiming and rape by instrumentation.

The victim testified in December at Atkins’ preliminary hearing how she was almost killed when Atkins tried to drown her and bashed her head onto rocks.

The victim was tied to a chair and injected with methamphetamine, struck with metal bars on her ribs and her neck was cut almost three inches with a butcher knife, according to testimony.

Testimony showed in addition to various sexual assaults, the victim’s wrists were slit and she was tied to a tree with a rope that was also fashioned into a noose and wrapped around her neck.

Atkins remains in custody at the Delaware County jail.


Driver tackles Kansas deputy during crash investigation

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Kan. – During a crash investigation, authorities say a semi-truck driver tackled a deputy leading to injuries.

The incident happened on January 19, 2022, on Highway 169 and County Road 5700 north of Cherryvale, Kansas. According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a reported non-injury accident involving a semi around 6:35 pm.

Deputies determined the Kenworth semi was going north on County Road 5700, failed to navigate a sharp curve and came to a stop in the ditch.

The driver, from Houston, Texas, became agitated when deputies requested documents for the accident investigation. The Sheriff’s Office says after speaking with him and explaining the documents needed, the suspect went back inside the semi.

Resisting Arrest

Deputies went to speak some more with him. He remained agitated, according to the Sheriff’s Office. After asking the suspect several times for the documents, deputies asked him to get out of the semi.

The Sheriff’s Office says he refused multiple times and went further into the sleeper area of the semi. Authorities continued telling him to leave the semi and that he was under arrest. Deputies then deployed a taser, which hit the suspect, but the Sheriff’s Office says it didn’t work.

The Texas man then allegedly charged one of the deputies who was standing on the passenger side steps of the semi. He tackled the deputy and they both fell off the semi into the steep ditch.

The deputy, along with a Cherryvale Police Officer, gave the suspect commands to stop resisting. He refused and after a short struggle, he pushed the deputy. The Deputy hit his head “on a large rock injuring him.” The Sheriff’s Office says the suspect ran, taking an item belonging to a deputy’s uniform.

Finding for the Suspect

Additional law enforcement arrived to help. A Montgomery County resident called a deputy saying a man was at their home down the road from the scene.

Deputies got there and found the suspect. Authorities used “less lethal control” to help arrest him, according to the Sheriff’s Office. They took him to the Montgomery County Department of Corrections, booking him on:

  • Battery on LEO,
  • Interference with LEO,
  • Theft,
  • Driving on the left side of the roadway,
  • and no proof of liability insurance.

Sheriff Ron Wade said, “Even though a deputy was injured, I’m thankful it was a minor injury, and the deputy was able to complete his shift considering the aggressive nature of the suspect.” Sheriff Wade went on to say, “I would like thank the Cherryvale Police Department for their assistance in this case.” Sheriff Wade said, “This call goes to show that there is no such thing as a routine call. My deputies put their life on the line every day to protect and serve.”

The Sheriff’s Office has sent the case over to the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office for review. According to online court documents, the Prosecutor’s Office has not yet filed official charges as of Jan. 21, 2022.