Man convicted of Joplin murder feat in upcoming Netflix Crime Documentary

JOPLIN, Mo. (KOAM-TV 7) — Netflix is poised to release I Am a Killer Season 4 on December 21. The trailer is out and features Joplin, Missouri, convicted killer Gary Black.

This season features interviews with current inmates, some on Death Row, and their current situations according to a media release on the British Crime Documentary.

Gary W. Black was convicted twice in Jasper County Jury Trials of First Degree Murder and sentenced to Death for the 1998 stabbing of Jason Johnson at the intersection of 5th and S. Joplin Ave in Joplin.

Black’s girlfriend, Tammy Lawson, was upset because she believed Johnson had tried to make a pass at her while they were in line at Snak Attack, E. 4th and S. St. Louis. Johnson was black, Gary Black and his girlfriend, white.

Black followed the vehicle Johnson was riding in a short distance to Joplin’s Downtown Bar District. During an exchange of words Black exited his vehicle and reached inside fatally stabbing Johnson in the neck.

While during a third trial in 2010 just as a Cass County jury was being selected for a new trial, Black took a plea bargain, avoiding the death penalty by filing an Alford Plea (guilty plea in which a defendant maintains their innocence but admits that the prosecution’s evidence would likely result in a guilty verdict if brought to trial).

Black, now 72, is currently serving a life sentence at Potosi Correctional Center in Mineral Point, Mo.

The Netflix trailer shows Gary Black being wheeled out towards cameras in a wheelchair with chains and shackles in slow motion. Black’s voice is heard above the video.

“These guards will tell you, I live in an administrative segregation unit. Until just six months ago I was in isolation in a one man cell for almost two years. They don’t know what to do with me here, that’s right they don’t know what to do with me here. And I don’t care.”

Then images of other inmates interviewed for the series flash on the screen with ominous music.

State of Missouri vs. Gary W. Black

Missouri Supreme Court Case Number: SC82279

Case Facts: 

On the evening of October 2, 1998, Andrew Martin, Mark Wolfe and victim Jason O. Johnson met at a Joplin restaurant.

After eating dinner and drinking beer, they decided to go to a downtown nightclub. Martin and the victim got into Martin’s 1996 Ford F-150 pickup, while Wolfe followed in his Camaro.

En route, they stopped at a convenience store. Martin and Wolfe remained in their vehicles while the victim entered the store and purchased a 40-ounce bottle of beer and a can of chewing tobacco. While in line, the victim stood behind Tammy S. Lawson. The jury viewed a tape of the victim and Lawson together in line.

Lawson was the girlfriend of defendant Gary W. Black, who was also parked outside the store. When the victim exited the store, Lawson pointed him out to the defendant. (During the penalty phase, Lawson testified that she was upset and told defendant that the victim made “a pass” at her.)

The victim and Martin then left the store in the pickup, with Wolfe following in his Camaro. Defendant and Lawson were in defendant’s car, close behind the Camaro.

When Martin stopped at the stoplight at 5th and Joplin, defendant pulled alongside in the right lane. Defendant began to “exchange words” with the victim. Defendant got out of his car, reached through the passenger window of the pickup, and stabbed the victim in the neck, nearly severing his carotid artery and completely severing his jugular vein.

Defendant immediately returned to his car. Victim left the pickup, staggered over to defendant’s car, and threw the bottle of beer at him. It is unclear whether the bottle struck defendant. (It did become clear during penalty phase that leaving the scene, defendant commented, “One nigger down,” and threw the knife out the car window.) Defendant then fled to Oklahoma.

The stab wound — 4.5 to 6 inches deep — bled profusely. Bystanders attempted to slow the bleeding with clothing and towels. Paramedics arrived to find the victim unresponsive, from massive blood loss. Blood drained into the victim’s airway, depriving him of oxygen. The victim died three days later.

Defendant was arrested in Oklahoma on a Missouri warrant. During inventory, police found an empty knife sheath in his car. Based on a statement by Tammy Lawson, an officer found the knife in a grassy area near a cemetery, about 20 blocks from the crime scene.

After deliberating less then two hours, the jury found defendant guilty of first degree murder. The jury later recommended the death penalty, finding two statutory aggravators — prior serious assaultive convictions and depravity of mind. The trial court sentenced the defendant to death

I Am A Killer season 4 is set to release on December 21, 2022, and will be available for streaming on Netflix.

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Couple transferred to Federal Custody, charged Kidnapping and Murder of Pregnant Ark. Woman

Full Press Conference, Benton Co. Ark. Sheriff’s office, Nov 3, 2022.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Missouri) — A Pineville, Mo., couple has been charged in federal court for their roles in the kidnapping and murder of a pregnant Arkansas woman.

Amber Waterman, 42, and her husband, Jamie Waterman, 42, were charged in separate criminal complaints signed on Thursday, Nov. 3, and filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield Friday, November 4, 2022. The Watermans remain in federal custody pending detention hearings, which have not yet been scheduled.

Amber Waterman is charged with one count of kidnapping resulting in death. The federal criminal complaint alleges that, between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, 2022, Amber Waterman kidnapped Ashley Bush, who was approximately 31 weeks pregnant, in order to claim her unborn child as her own. She allegedly transported Ashley Bush from Maysville, Arkansas, to Pineville, resulting in her death.

| BREAKING NEWS STORY >>Body of missing pregnant woman found

| BREAKING NEWS STORY >> Court papers reveal Missouri couple burned and moved body of missing Arkansas woman Ashley Bush

| RELATED COURT PAPERS FILED >> Probable Cause Statements: click here. (warning, graphic detail)

Jamie Waterman is charged with one count of being an accessory after the fact to kidnapping resulting in death. The federal criminal complaint alleges that he assisted Amber Waterman, in order to hinder and prevent her apprehension, trial, and punishment, knowing she had committed the offense of kidnapping resulting in death.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaints, Amber Waterman adopted the false on-line persona of “Lucy” in order to meet Ashley Bush, then lured her to meet a second time to give her a ride to a purported job interview. Instead, the affidavit says, Amber Waterman killed Ashley Bush.

Amber Waterman allegedly led Jamie Waterman to the body of Ashley Bush, who was clothed and lying face down next to a boat near their house, covered in a blue tarp. Amber Waterman removed a ring from Ashley Bush’s finger and rolled her body onto the blue tarp, the affidavit says, which Jamie Waterman then dragged to a fire pit behind the residence. The Waterman’s allegedly burned the body, moved it onto the bed of Jamie Waterman’s blue GMC pickup, and drove a short distance from their residence to hide the body.

Ashley Bush was reported as a missing person on Monday, Oct. 31. Her fiancé told law enforcement that he saw her being driven as a passenger in a pickup truck by a woman he knew as “Lucy.” They had originally met “Lucy” at the Gravette, Ark., public library a few days earlier, at which time “Lucy” was driving the same pickup truck. During this meeting at the library, “Lucy” and Ashley Bush had discussed employment opportunities, and later that day, “Lucy” offered to drive her to meet her supervisor at a Bentonville, Ark., company.

| RELATED PREGNANT MISSING MOTHER >>Investigators: Body in southwest Missouri is missing pregnant Arkansas woman, Ashley Bush

On Oct. 31, Ashley Bush’s fiancé drove her to meet “Lucy” at a Handi-Stop convenience store in Maysville, Ark. He later received a message to pick her up at the same Handi-Stop store, but while he was waiting for her to arrive, he saw “Lucy” and Ashley Bush drive past without stopping. He attempted to contact Ashley Bush by phone, but his calls went to voice mail. He later found her phone on the side of the highway.

Detectives with the Benton County, Ark., Sheriff’s Department examined the phone and found the Facebook account for “Lucy.” Detectives located a public posting on the account that read “I have a bunch of baby items if any moms to be need them.” Detectives traced the Facebook account to Jamie Waterman, and learned from examining Amber Bush’s Google records that she had traveled to Pineville, approximately .15 miles from the Watermans’ residence.

When investigators questioned the Watermans on Tuesday, Nov. 1, they were initially told that Amber had a miscarriage. Detectives noticed what appeared to be blood stains on the inside of a pickup truck that matched the description of the vehicle given by Ashley Bush’s fiancé. The vehicle was seized by law enforcement and search warrants obtained on Thursday, Nov. 3, for the vehicle and residence.

Detectives questioned Jamie Waterman again on Thursday, Nov. 3. According to the affidavit, he told detectives that, after they had questioned them and left their residence, Amber Waterman told him she had killed Ashley Bush and then quickly changed her story and said “Lucy” had killed her. She then led him to the body, which he assisted in disposing.

The charges contained in these complaints are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie L. Wan and James J. Kelleher. They were investigated by the FBI, the Benton County, Ark., Sheriff’s Department, and the McDonald County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas and the Benton County, Ark., Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.



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Missouri Detective solves five Cold Case Murders from 32 years ago

O’FALLON, Mo. — Five women murdered. In the early 1990’s. Cases never solved. Bodies were found dumped in the St Louis region, covering multiple jurisdictions across three counties. Now the killer of the five women has confessed.

He was dubbed the “Package Killer,” identified in court papers as Gary Randall Muehlberg. 

Between the years 1990 and 1991, Robyn Mihan, Brenda Pruitt, and Sandra Little went missing from south St. Louis City. Their bodies were found murdered at various locations in Lincoln, St. Louis, and St. Charles Counties. Little’s body was found in O’Fallon, Mo along the side of Interstate 70. Despite the best efforts of investigators from all three counties these murders remained unsolved.

In 2008, Det. Sgt. Jodi Weber took it upon herself to take another look at these cold cases. Over a period of 14 years, she organized witness statements, police reports, and physical evidence. Det. Sgt. Weber sent evidence to crime labs in hopes of finding DNA on evidence seized at the crime scenes. She would regularly follow up with the labs to see if any discoveries had been made.

In April 2022, with the advancement in scientific technology the St. Charles County Crime Lab technicians received a confirmed DNA match from a small amount of viable evidence. The DNA was that of Gary Randall Muehlberg who is serving a life sentence for an unrelated murder in Potosi Correctional Center.

Det. Sgt. Weber traveled to the Potosi Correctional Center two separate times to speak with Muehlberg. During those interviews, she obtained confessions for the murders of Robyn Mihan, Brenda Pruitt, and Sandra Little. Shortly after the second interview Det. Sgt. Weber received a handwritten letter from Muehlberg providing information about two additional murders in which he was responsible for.

Det. Sgt. Weber returned to the Potosi Correctional Center a third time to interview Muehlberg. During the interview Muehlberg confessed to the murders he mentioned in the letter. Det. Sgt. Weber was able to get details of both murders. Using that information Det. Sgt. Weber identified one of the victims as Donna Reitmeyer. The other female victim remains unidentified.

The most sacred tenet of law enforcement is justice for victims and closure for their families. Detective Sergeant Jodi Weber has demonstrated those ideals with her work on this case. Since 2008 she has shown relentless tenacity, steering this case through trending DNA technology, working with other agencies, and balancing the demands of her other assignments. This is a tremendous accomplishment for Det. Sgt. Weber and a solemn day for the victims, who we pray may finally rest in peace.” — Chief Frank Mininni, OPD

This is a breaking news story, stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to follow updates. Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews updates so you don’t miss an article.

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1 of 3 defendants pleads guilty in 2020 Lamar murder

BARTON COUNTY, Mo. – Lane Bronson pleads guilty for his role in the 2020 Lamar murder of Terry Harless.

Bronson is one of three defendants in the case. Judge Dean Dankelson set sentencing for December 17, 2021. Bronson is still in custody.


In addition to Lane Bronson, prosecutors in Barton County, Missouri charged David Morris and Tre Ackerson with second-degree murder. Investigators say the men are responsible for the shooting death of Terry Harless.

On July 13, 2020, Lamar police officers responded to a call about gunshots. They went to the location on the 700 block of Broadway. They found Harless, 51, dead. Police called it an “isolated event” and a homicide.

On December 15, 2020, the Barton County Prosecutor’s Office charged Lane Bronson, of Carthage. Eight days later, prosecutors charged Tre Ackerson, of Joplin, and David Morris, of Duenweg.

The courts scheduled a hearing for Tre Ackerson and David Morris on Thursday, October 14, 2021.


MAYES COUNTY, Mo. – Three suspects in the Lamar homicide are also facing an Oklahoma murder case indictment. Both happened in July of 2020.

On Friday, July 23, 2021, a grand jury indicted four more suspects in the kidnapping and death of an Osage Nation resident. This brings the number to eleven Joplin area residents charged related to the case. (Read more on this case here)

“The 11 defendants charged were allegedly involved in either the kidnapping and resulting death of Jolene Walker Campbell or with threatening witnesses and concealing evidence to cover up their crimes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Someone discovered Campbell’s body on July 15, 2020, in a remote field in Mayes County, Oklahoma within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation. Authorities allege the kidnapping and resulting death happened between July 4 and 5, 2020.

According to the indictment, the defendants conspired with one another and others to kidnap the victim. They suspected she was a federal informant.

In the most recent indictment, attorneys charged brothers Tre Robert Allan Ackerson and Lane Ryan Bronson along with Jacob Ryan Scribner and Kimberly Kay Grissom in the case.

You can read the indictment charges and more details on that case here.


Missouri murder suspect arrested in Iola

IOLA, Kan. – Police in Iola, Kansas arrest a Missouri murder fugitive and a woman they say attempted to aid him in his flight.

Authorities say 19-year-old Robin Morales-Sanchez is wanted for the July 30 murder of Moises Hernandez-Sanchez in Ashland, Missouri. According to investigators, Morales-Sanchez fled the scene after stabbing Hernandez-Sanchez and another victim multiple times. He’s charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action. He also had a warrant out of Cole County, Missouri for domestic assault.

Police received intelligence that Morales-Sanchez was hiding out in Iola. Officers also developed a probable cause to believe Sarah Malki was harboring Morales Sanchez and attempting to help him flee the country. They issued a warrant for her arrest on charges of hindering prosecution of a felony.

On August 4, the Iola Police Department and Kansas Bureau of Investigation served a search warrant in the 400 block of S. Colborn Street in Iola. They arrested both Morales-Sanchez and Malki during the search. Both are in custody awaiting extradition to Missouri with no bond.

“I’m tremendously proud of our team and the tireless work they’ve done,” said Ashland Chief of Police Gabe Edwards. “The Hernandez-Sanchez family are an important part of our community and we are confident justice will be served.”


Man killed at Lake of the Ozarks bar ID’d as artist VNZA

LAKE OZARK, Mo. – Authorities have identified a man fatally shot over the weekend at a popular Lake of the Ozarks bar 27-year-old Vonza Watson, a rapper and visual artist who went by the stage name VNZA.

The Kansas City Star reports that the Camden County Sheriff’s Office identified Watson as the victim in the late Saturday night shooting at Lazy Gators entertainment venue near Lake Ozark, Missouri. Investigators say Watson was shot in the chest and was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Authorities say three suspects have been arrested in the shooting. Authorities have not identified the suspects.

Monett Man Arrested and Charged with Killing Another Monett Man

((MONETT, Mo.)) A Monett man has been charged in connection to a Barry County homicide. Dylan Rixon Williams, 21, is charged with second degree murder and armed criminal action. He’s being held in the Barry County Jail without bond. On Friday, the Barry County Sheriff’s Office was called to an area off Farm Road 1078 and Farm Road 2140. There they found Daylon Michael Anderson, 25, of Monett laying dead in a field from an apparent gunshot wound.

Arma man pleads in killing wife, injuring her grandmother

ARMA, Kan. (AP) – A Kansas man pleaded no contest Tuesday to second-degree murder and attempted murder in the stabbing death of his wife and the injuring of her grandmother.

(Previous story: Man charged with second degree murder in death of his wife)

Jeremy Delmarco, 34. of Arma, had been charged with killing 37-year-old Brandy Delmarco and injuring Dorma Lemaster, 84, at a home in Arma on Feb. 4, 2019.

The pleas were accepted by Crawford County District Judge M. Jennifer Brunetti. Sentencing was set for June 30, the Kansas Attorney General’s office said in a news release.

In 2019, The Joplin Globe reported that Lemaster called police to report that Jeremy Delmarco was assaulting her granddaughter. When deputies arrived they found the two victims seriously injured. Brandy Delmarco died later at a hospital.

Jeremy Delmarco was arrested after struggling with a deputy despite being shot several times with a stun gun.

Joplin man pleads guilty in 2019 murder of Sarah Tyminski

PINEVILLE, Mo. – A Joplin man pleads guilty to the 2019 murder of his son’s longtime girlfriend.

(Previous articles: Loved ones hold celebration of life to remember Sarah TyminskiFamily of fatal shooting victim speaks about their loved one)

Rickey Lee Lamb, 63, of Joplin, Missouri entered the plea in front of Judge Kevin Selby of the 40th Judicial Circuit in Newton County on Thursday, April 15, 2021, to Murder in the Second Degree.

The court dismissed counts of Domestic Assault First and Armed Criminal Action.

On June 17, 2019, Rickey Lamb went to the residence of his son and his son’s girlfriend Sarah Tyminski on Eloise Lane just south of Joplin. According to the defendant’s own statements, included in the probable cause document filed with the case, Lamb went to the home to scare his son over a custody dispute over his son’s children. At the residence, a firefight ensued, and Rickey Lamb admitted to shooting Sarah Tyminski, telling detectives he believed she was trying to get a weapon. EMT’s pronounced Sarah Tyminski dead at the scene.

“This plea will offer closure and some amount of justice to the family of Sarah Tyminski,” said Newton County Prosecuting Attorney William Lynch. “The decision to proceed as we have is not
one I take lightly. After full discovery was completed in this case, considering the availability of some witnesses and the risk associated with a jury trial, this is a just and certain outcome.” Lynch
stated that the defendant taking responsibility for his actions and the plea limiting the scope of the defendant’s appeals were important factors in his decision.

A sentencing hearing is set for June 17, 2021. At that hearing, the state and defense will have the opportunity to make argument as to what sentence the defendant should receive. The range of
sentencing for the A felony of Murder in the Second Degree is 10 to 30 years, or life, in the Missouri Department of Corrections. No plea agreement was made limiting the range of punishment the
judge can consider.

The case was investigated by the Newton County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by William Lynch, J.D. Hatcher, and Sarah Crites, of the Newton County Prosecutor’s Office

New autopsy finds Kansas Black man’s 2004 death was homicide

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – The case of a Black man who died following a party in rural Kansas more than 16 years ago has been ruled a homicide after his body was exhumed as federal authorities investigate his death as a possible hate crime.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Monday that a new autopsy on the body of Alonzo Brooks concluded the cause of death was homicide. His body was exhumed last year from a Topeka cemetery and transported to Dover Air Force Base for an examination.

(Previous story: FBI gives update as investigation continues into 2004 La Cygne cold case)

Brooks was 23 when he disappeared after attending a party near La Cygne, Kansas, in May 2004. His family later found his body in a creek near where the party was held.

The FBI reopened the investigation in 2019 and offered a $100,000 reward for information.

Federal authorities say Brooks’ death was possibly racially motivated. He was one of only three Black people at a party attended by about 100 people at a farm near La Cygne.

“We knew that Alonzo Brooks died under very suspicious circumstances,” Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard said in a news release. “This new examination by a team of the world’s best forensic pathologists and experts establishes it was no accident. Alonzo Brooks was killed. We are doing everything we can, and will spare no resources, to bring those responsible to justice.”

The new autopsy focused on injuries to parts of Brooks’ body that the examiner concluded are inconsistent with normal patterns of decomposition, the FBI said.

“The FBI’s commitment to justice remains at the forefront of each and every investigation,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy Langan. “Our reach is broad, and the strength of our investigative tools are exceptional. We remain dedicated to uncovering the truth surrounding the murder of Alonzo Brooks and ensuring those responsible are held accountable for their actions.”

The Alonzo Brooks case was featured on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix.