murder

If you're murdered in America, there's a 1 in 3 chance that the police won't identify your killer.

To use the FBI's terminology, the national "clearance rate" for homicide today is 64.1 percent. Fifty years ago, it was more than 90 percent.

And that's worse than it sounds, because "clearance" doesn't equal conviction: It's just the term that police use to describe cases that end with an arrest, or in which a culprit is otherwise identified without the possibility of arrest — if the suspect has died, for example.

handcuffs
v1ctor Casale / Flickr

A man serving a life sentence for killing his wife in 2011 has won a legal victory in his quest for a retrial.

Crime scene
Null_Value / Flickr

A caretaker has been convicted of arranging the killing of a Columbia art dealer after forging the victim's will in an effort to inherit his fortune. 

steakpinball_0 / Flickr

A judge has sentenced a Columbia man to life in prison for the 2013 shooting death of 17-year-old Tre'Veon Marshall last summer.

Joe Gratz / Flickr

A Columbia man has been found guilty of second-degree murder for the shooting death of a Jefferson City man.

Null Value / Flickr

The second of three suspects in the shooting death of a Columbia man has been arrested in Louisiana.

Columbia police announced Wednesday that 17-year-old Derrick Copelin was arrested Tuesday on a Boone County warrant in his hometown of New Orleans. Details of the arrest were not immediately released.

Copelin is charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 2 killing of 23-year-old Dontay Wilson at a Columbia apartment, in what police described as a drug deal gone bad.

Alyssa Bustamante
KBIA

A Missouri teen who pleaded guilty to killing her 9-year-old neighbor wants the pleas to be vacated, corrected or set aside.

Alyssa Bustamante pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the October 2009 killing of Elizabeth Olten in St. Martins, just west of Jefferson City. Bustamante was 15 at the time.

Bustamante's attorney contends the teen's due process rights were violated and that she faced cruel and unusual punishment. The lawyer also asserts Bustamante's public defenders were not effective. A hearing was scheduled Friday in Jefferson City.

Ryan Ferguson hearing
August Kryker / Columbia Tribune

The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District announced Tuesday it is granting Ryan Ferguson habeas corpus relief, effectively vacating his conviction in the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt.

According to the court statement (full .pdf here), Ferguson is to be released from prison in 30 days unless the state appeals or expresses its intent to re-try Ferguson. Ferguson is serving a 40-year sentence.

Crime scene
Null_Value / Flickr

The man who killed a fellow patient at Columbia’s Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital in February has been found not guilty of murder.

Null Value / Flickr

The Columbia Police department says officers arrested three Columbia teenagers yesterday and this morning in connection to the July 14th homicide of 17-year-old Tre’Veon Marshall.

Police arrested 18 year old Joshua Dewayne Murray and 19 year old Nicholas Raheem Thomas for first degree murder and armed criminal action. 17 year old Kimberly Makayla Huett-Linzie was arrested for felony hindering prosecution.

Null Value / Flickr

A Jefferson City man was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his role in the death of another man during a drug deal. The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports Brandon Chase was sentenced yesterday for second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action in the April 2012 death of 34-year-old Keith Mosely of Columbia. Prosecutors said Chase brought two other men to Mosely's apartment to steal marijuana, and Mosely was shot during the confrontation.

Joe Gratz / Flickr

A Missouri appeals court has rejected a motion seeking the release of a Saudi national being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge.

One day after Circuit Court Judge Michael Wagner issued an order denying bond for 24-year-old Ziyad Abid, the Missouri Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed a defense motion seeking Abid's release. Abid is accused of paying his roommate to kill Warrensburg bar owner Blaine Whitworth on September 1st.

Crime scene
Null_Value / Flickr

Columbia police say a man was killed in a shooting at a city park. The shooting occurred late Sunday at McKee Park in northeast Columbia.

Police say a man died from gunshot wounds after being taken to a hospital. His name has not been released but police say he was a black male in his late teens or early 20s.

Mike Jorgensen / Flickr

  Five colleagues of a former Boone County medical examiner are challenging his findings as a Kirksville man seeks a new trial in a woman's 1997 death.

Former medical examiner Jay Dix, who died in 2002, ruled that Wendy Wagnon died from suffocation. That led to the conviction of Jessie McKim and James Peavler in 1999.

Brian Turner / Flickr

A 33-year-old Sedalia man charged with killing a fellow patient at a Columbia veterans' hospital wants a transfer from the Boone County Jail to a state mental health hospital in Fulton.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Rudy Perez Jr. is asking a judge to help provide treatment for psychotic symptoms. Defense attorney David Tyson Smith says Perez is schizophrenic.

Columbia Police say they are investigating a homicide at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital in Columbia that happened on Friday. In a press release, police say the suspect and victim were both patients at the VA Hospital, and that the suspect is currently in custody. Police aren’t releasing any other information right now.

prison cell
mikecogh / Flickr

Attorneys for a St. Louis man whose 1983 rape and murder convictions were recently thrown out by a Missouri judge say they expect his release from prison on Wednesday.

Two more witnesses are raising questions about evidence that helped convict a Missouri man in the 2001 death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

Authorities investigating the October 2009 disappearance of a Missouri girl had seized muddy clothes and shovels from the home of a neighboring teenager who later confessed to killing and burying the girl, according to secretly filed court documents obtained by The Associated Press.

A Missouri teenager who had described the slaying of a young neighbor girl as an "ahmazing" thrill made an emotional apology Wednesday to the girl's family and was sentenced to a potential lifetime in prison.