Armed Robbery at McDonalds, Police seek help to identify individuals

AURORA, Mo. — Police and investigators responded late Tuesday night, November 29, 2022 to a report of an Armed Robbery at McDonalds, 1529 South Elliot in Aurora.

Investigators say two masked subjects entered the restaurant dressed in black, with  their faces covered (see security images).

One subject brandished a handgun and asked an employee to be given access to cash in the store.  An undisclosed amount of cash was taken and the suspects left the store on foot.”


If anyone has any information as to the identity of these individuals, you are asked to call AMPD at (417)678-5025.

No one was injured during the Armed Robbery.

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



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Northeast Oklahoma man sentenced for murdering his mother

DELAWARE COUNTY, Okla. – A Jay man was sentenced Tuesday in federal court for shooting and killing his mother and wounding a second family member in northeast Oklahoma.

“Christopher Weeley fatally shot his mother and seriously wounded a second family member at a home in Jay in 2021. My thoughts are with the family and the second victim as she continues her long-term recovery,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Weeley will serve 24 years in prison for the harm he has caused to his family. My office remains steadfast in its commitment to seek justice for victims affected by violence.”

U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Christopher Leo Weeley, 42, to 24 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.

“The outcome of this case is a direct result of the excellent partnership we have with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. “Today’s sentence ensures Christopher Weeley will be brought to justice for his horrific crime and hopefully begins the healing process for his grieving family.”

During sentencing, Weeley, a long-time drug user, apologized to his family although they were not in attendance.

He told the court that he heard drugs did horrible things to families but didn’t think it would ever happen within his own family.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Roberts shared with the court that the surviving victim continues to receive treatment for her injuries. He further relayed that she could not bring herself to come to the hearing because she felt it would harm her emotionally at this time.

Click here to read more,


Missouri men killed in Kansas Double Homicide; 3rd shooting victim critical

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — Monday November 28, Baxter Springs Police responded to a residence, 2400 Lincoln Ave, regarding a shooting.

Three men suffering gunshot wounds. “Two died of injuries on the scene,” Chief Brian Henderson states, the third victim rushed to a Joplin, Mo. hospital.

| RELATED BREAKING NEWS >> Double Homicide in Baxter Springs, 3rd shooting victim rushed to Joplin hospital

Next of kin are now notified as names are released:

  • Jeremy Murphy, 47, of Anderson, Mo.
  • Craig Guinn, 59, of Pineville, Mo.
  • Seth Guinn, 27, of Pineville, Mo.

Jeremy Murphy and Craig Guinn pronounced deceased at the scene.  Their bodies have been turned over to the Cherokee County Coroner pending Autopsy later this week.  

Seth Guinn was transported to Freeman Hospital where he is still listed in critical condition.



On 11-28-22 at 2:40 pm the Baxter Springs Police Department was dispatched to 2400 Lincoln reference to reported gunshots in the residence.  The reporting party told dispatch that three people had been shot inside the residence.  

Officers arrived on scene and immediately began life saving measures on the three victims that had been shot.  A description of the suspect was immediately put out to responding officers.  As officers were coming into the area, they located the suspect walking in the area.  After a brief struggle the suspect was taken into custody by officers.  

Two of the victims were found to be deceased on scene and the third was transported by Cherokee County EMS to Freeman Hospital with life threatening injuries.  Names are not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin.  

The suspect in this case has been identified as Kyle Butts age 41 of Independence MO.  He is being held in the Cherokee County Jail pending formal charges of Capital Murder by the Cherokee County Attorney’s Office.  

This incident is being investigated by the Baxter Springs Police Department, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

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



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Kansas Inmate dies under observation; Autopsy pending

LANSING, Kan. – A correctional facility in northeast Kansas says an inmate’s death is under investigation.

The Lansing Correctional Facility says that inmate George E. Dobbs was found unresponsive on November 26, 2022.

Officers attempted life-saving measures however, Dobbs was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Officials say the cause of death is pending until the results of an independent autopsy are disclosed.

Dobbs, 53, was serving an 89-month sentence, based on convictions in Leavenworth County, Kansas of Distribution of heroin or meth.

The investigation is currently ongoing.


Missouri to go forward with Murderer’s death sentence

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Governor Mike Parson today confirmed that the state will carry out the death sentence of Mr. Kevin Johnson on November 29.

“Mr. Johnson has received every protection afforded by the Missouri and United States Constitutions, and Mr. Johnson’s conviction and sentence remain for his horrendous and callous crime. The State of Missouri will carry out Mr. Johnson’s sentence according to the Court’s order and deliver justice,” Governor Parson said. “The violent murder of any citizen, let alone a Missouri law enforcement officer, should be met only with the fullest punishment state law allows. Through Mr. Johnson’s own heinous actions, he stole the life of Sergeant McEntee and left a family grieving, a wife widowed, and children fatherless. Clemency will not be granted.”

Deputies say that Johnson ambushed and shot Sergeant Bill McEntee while he responded to a call in Johnson’s neighborhood.

The press release indicates that Johnson shot McEntee five times in the head after his squad car was left undrivable.

Officials say this case was reviewed in the state trial court, Missouri Supreme Court, federal district court, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and United States Supreme Court.


CBS Report: Native Americans disproportionately go missing, data show

According to CBS News, statistics show Native American communities see a disproportionate amount of violence and missing persons cases.

“More than 82% of American Indian and Alaska Native men and women reported experiences of violent victimization in their lifetime, according to the Congressional Research Service in January 2022. Similarly, Native Americans are also reported missing at higher rates than the general U.S. public, with at least 9,575 reported missing cases in 2020, according to the National Crime Information Center.” – CBS

When a Native American is murdered or disappears on one of the 324 federally recognized reservations across the United States, the majority of these cases fall within federal jurisdiction.

CBS reports that in recent years, families of missing and murdered Indigenous people have pushed federal authorities and legislators to address the crisis. Grassroots advocates join those families in the fight.

“Those federal authorities — like the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs — are responsible for investigating major crimes as a result of the nearly 400 treaties the United States government signed with Native tribes since 1787, when the federal government pledged to protect Native people, according to Stephen Pevar, author of “The Rights of Indians And Tribes” and an expert on Indian Law.

And crimes in these jurisdictions are prosecuted by the United States Attorneys throughout the country. But according to a recent Justice Department report, prosecutors in 2018 declined to prosecute almost 40% of all federal Indian Country cases – representing almost 1,000 potential federal crimes – citing “insufficient evidence” as the most likely reasoning.” – CBS Report

“This means in that one year there was no justice for the victims of the alleged 73 murders, 373 physical assaults and 279 sexual assaults in Indian Country.”

For more than a year, CBS News tracked the federal law enforcement investigation into the death of Christy Woodenthigh, a 33-year-old mother of three who lived on the Northern Cheyenne reservation in southeast Montana.

You can read more about that case and the report here.

Missing: Aubrey Dameron of Grove, Oklahoma

25-year-old Aubrey Dameron from Grove was last seen on March 9, 2019. Authorities in Delaware County, Oklahoma continued following up on leads into the missing person case.

However, Dameron’s Aunt Pamela Smith was concerned about the search when speaking with KOAM at the time. In 2019, authorities were following up on a lead at a pond. KOAM spoke with Smith after that search.

Dameron was reported two days after going missing, but Smith says authorities didn’t respond how she thought they would.

“Basically there was nothing done the first week because they believed she wasn’t a missing person due to her lifestyle,” explains Smith. “So that is hard. It’s hard to have a hundred percent trust in them following up with everything we send them. I wish that they would have taken her case seriously from the moment she was reported missing.”

—> KOAM Article: Police search pond in Delaware County in connection to missing woman from March


Charges filed for Columbia man who allegedly shot at multiple residences

BOONE COUNTY, Mo. – Prosecutors filed charges for a Columbia, Mo. man who fired multiple shots into a multi-resident living area on November 25.

Deputies say a male subject, 39, was seen fleeing after he allegedly fired multiple rounds into a living space after he threatened a resident.

Police say probable cause was developed to identify the suspect as Nicholas Dean Brunda.

Brunda was subsequently arrested on the following charges:

  • Assault 1st Degree or Attempt – RSMo 656.050
  • Unlawful Use of Weapon – RSMo 571.030
  • Armed Criminal Action – RSMo 571.015
  • Assault – 4th Degree – RSMo 565.056

At around 6:00 P.M. later that day, Deputies witnessed Brunda driving and placed him under arrest.

Officers say they located an altered short-barrelled shotgun and he was charged once again with:

  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm – RSMo 571.070
  • Unlawful Possession, Transport, Manufacture Repair or Sale of Certain Weapons – RSMo 

The Boone County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed charges and a warrant was issued for Brunda on 11/26/2022 with no bond allowed.

The media release indicates no one was injured in this incident.

Deputies say that Brunda is currently being held in the Boone County Jail.


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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MoDOT completes the S Rangeline overpass 23 days early

JOPLIN, Mo. — What one person called, “A Christmas miracle” in an online comment, is really a Thanksgiving miracle!

The South Rangeline overpass of the Kansas City Southern Railroad was open to all traffic Wednesday, November 23 at 11:52 a.m.

Range Line Bridge Replacement Fact Sheet_4

The project completes early. 23 days early.

The estimated completion was Dec 16. However good weather for construction and priority planning by MoDOT officials achieved the early opening.

MoDOT inspectors tell us on site there are still things to complete outside of the roadway, cosmetic issues like sod and dirt work.

Final inspections were completed in the past week. Painters were spotted on the bridge yesterday and this morning as tipsters alerted us that the opening could be close.

Now accessible is the newly relocated Maria’s Restaurant, in the former Pacific Rim building, across from Import Warehouse.

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



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