October 22, 2009

Jury Finds Mutchler Guilty of Involuntary Man Slaughter in 2008 Shooting Death

With the prosecution seeking first degree murder and the defense proclaiming innocence, a Shelby County jury settled somewhere in between on Friday, October 16th in the trial of Michael J. Mutchler of Memphis.

After deliberating most of the afternoon on the third day of the trial, the jury came back with a guilty count on the charge of armed criminal action. They ruled Mutchler was guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the 2008 shooting death of Joseph Alvey in rural Scotland County.

The prosecution had sought a charge of murder in the first degree. However the jury instructions offered a number of lesser offenses, including murder in the second degree, and involuntary manslaughter in the first or second degree.

The jury ultimately settled for the later, indicating they believed the defendant, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, acted with criminal negligence, and not in self defense, resulting in Alveys death.

In order to find Mutchler guilty of murder, the jury would have had to agree that his conduct was practically certain to have caused Alveys death.

Involuntary manslaughter in the second degree is a class D felony and is subject to a prison term of up to five years. Armed criminal action is an unclassified felony, punishable by imprisonment by the department of corrections for a term of not less than three years. The punishment is in addition to the manslaughter sentence. No person convicted under this subsection shall be eligible for parole, probation, conditional release or suspended imposition or execution of sentence for a period of three calendar years.

Sentencing in the case will be handed down at 10:00 a.m. December 1st in the Shelby County Court by Judge Gary Wallace.

Joseph Alvey died after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds from a .22 rifle following an altercation at the Russell Heck residence on June 8, 2008.

The owner of the weapon, Michael J. Mutchler, admitted to firing the gun, but claimed it was done in self-defense, as Alvey attempted to take a weapon from Heck and gain access to the home.

On the night of the shooting, Alvey had arrived at the Russell Heck residence near Gorin. Heck shared a home with Angela Graham and their infant child. Mutchler was living with the couple at the time of the shooting.

Another couple had joined the trio for some drinks before Kristy Shaw arrived at the home. After the second couple departed, Joseph Alvey, Shaws boyfriend, arrived.

According to testimony by Shaw, Heck and Graham, Alvey and Shaw had an altercation in the yard when Alvey attempted to leave the party and Shaw refused to give him his vehicle keys because he was intoxicated.

Mutchler reportedly witnessed the fight, and sought out Heck, who had gone to bed earlier in the night, to come to Shaws aid.

Heck reportedly fired one round from a 9mm pistol into the air to warn Alvey to leave the property.

He and Graham both testified that the pistol was then returned to the home, and exchanged for a beater stick a wooden club similar in size to a police baton.

At this time Mutchler exited the home with his .22 rifle and the shooting took place shortly thereafter.

Mutchler took the stand in his own defense, and admitted firing the fatal shots at Alvey. However he claimed the shooting was done in self-defense, as Alvey attempted to take the handgun from Heck.

Prosecution witnesses testified that Mutchler made threatening comments targeting the victim prior to the shooting, a fact the defendant refuted.

They also indicated that Heck, who had taken a 9mm handgun onto the porch and fired a warning shot to scare Alvey away, no longer was holding the gun at the time of the fatal shooting.

The defense pointed out that in their statements given to investigators the following day, both Heck and Graham initially had indicated the shooting was done in self-defense as Alvey reached for Hecks sidearm.

However both witnesses later changed their statements.

Graham testified that she had tried to help Mutchler, her friend, but had decided that it was more important to tell the truth, ultimately requiring her to recant her initial statement and issue a new statement to investigators roughly a week after the shooting.

Mutchler testified that he fired five or six shots at Alvey, deliberately aiming low, in an effort to scare him and prevent him from charging the porch and taking the weapon from Heck. He indicated he made the split-second decision in an effort to secure the occupants of the home.

The Boone County Medical Examiner testified that Alvey sustained four gunshot wounds, one to the leg, one to the lower back and one to the hand. The fourth struck Alvey in the back of his shoulder. The bullet struck a rib, passed through both lungs and ultimately opened the aorta, which proved fatal. The examiner indicated the fatal wound likely would have incapacitated Alvey within 20 seconds.

The defense highlighted physical evidence, including four bullet holes in an adjacent building, noting the low height of impact. They also pointed out that Mutchler had selected a .22 rifle instead of the shotgun or high-powered rifle he also had in the house.

Prosecutors questioned why Mutchler never called law enforcement or an ambulance following the incident, and instead spoke to family members on his cellular phone immediately following the shooting, while the fatality went 45 minutes to one hour before it was reported by Heck.

Evidence was also presented that appeared to disprove Mutchlers testimony that he never reloaded the weapon after the shooting.

Investigators testified that a clip for the weapon was recovered containing seven bullets along with an eighth that was ejected from the chamber. With physical evidence indicating five bullets had struck the house and a sixth, the fatal shot was found in Alveys body, prosecutors pointed out that the testimony was mathematically impossible, since the clip could hold just 10 shells with an 11th chambered in the rifle. With six shots fired and eight in the clip and weapon, the prosecution argued the weapon had to have been reloaded, backing up testimony to that effect and refuting statements made under oath by the defendant.

Mutchler was the lone witness called by the defense. The prosecution called the three witnesses at the home during the shooting, as well as a number of investigators from the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control (DDCC), the medical examiner, and Scotland County Coroner Ginny Monroe. Testimony was offered Wednesday afternoon following the seating of the jury and concluded with nearly a full-day of testimony on October 15th before the defense rested at around 3:30 p.m.

Jurors received the jury instructions just before lunch on Friday, and returned a verdict that afternoon.

Might We Need To Change Our Inner Password?

I don’t know how to say what I’m about to say–what I want to say–to you at this very moment.  Believe me.  My (com)passion is charged and ready to express in deep meaning the value that I see in you and how much I believe that each is basically unaware of your own profound depth of wonder.

Mankind is stripped of its potential because Satan’s original work in the Garden divided us.  Oh, I don’t mean that such division is merely one against another.  No, I mean that we entered a zone where we are divided against ourselves.  We want to be effective; yet, find ourselves plagued with failing moments.  We desire to really be alive only to spend far too much time in dread of a day or an event or of a person.

This is why faith enters the picture.  It is a warrior against fear for fear still wants to be the Boss.  That’s what happened to Adam and Eve.  They simply became afraid….and many have never gotten over what we inherited from them.  Yet Jesus, at our rebirth, very much does reopen one’s potential and possibility in a whole new power display.

From Princess to Pauper, we are all the same; wanting to be more than we are and blinded to our own positive dynamic at any given moment.  Don’t misunderstand.  I’m not promoting rude self-centeredness.  But rather, I’m wishing to draw out an inner confidence embedded within us by the intentional design of the Holy Spirit of God.

Individuals do not grasp just how deeply wonderful they/you are.  Thus, we perpetually thirst for something more without realizing we are currently and valuably very much, very sharp, very effective, and very meaningful.  This is not to brush against one’s ego; but rather, to dip into His Supply.  So how do we reverse this mistaken daily tendency of missing His glory within our very own interior?

Realize that we are all the same.  When I was entering the sales world as a 20-something, before I seriously entered into ministry, I was highly intimidated by any of slightest power.  How many times I heard from my colleagues, Hey, they all put their pants on one leg at a time.  But this didn’t help… and I failed.

When I eventually entered into ministry, I was plagued by the very identical insecurity.  This is a part of the reason that it wasn’t until my senior segment of Preaching School that I was sent out into area churches to preach (while all other students began such an experience in their sophomore term).  I. Couldn’t.  Do.  It.

I was scared.  Fear drove my every day.  But little by little, I gained confidence in Him.  I never gained confidence in myself (to this day).  Yet, the key was increasing in assurance of His absolute presence and His productivity.  I actually began to believe; to trust God.  Count.  Me.  In.

My burden for you is that I believe that every person on earth battles insecurities galore.  This, then, carries an inner defense mechanism within our thinking that goes unchecked.  We refuse to learn new ways for we are protecting what little security we dare think we possess.  We take the talent He gives us and we hide it. We hoard it for fear that it, too, will diminish.

Often we balk at the very idea of just trying.  This very practice reduces blessings for those in your path as well as your own potential ones for you would rather play life safe.  There is nothing safe about this for it is robbing you of the real you.  This is your personal Thief.

Whether you are my friend or are my foe, I cheer you on.  Dare to open up your heart to your dreams and imaginations.  Quit playing it safe.  Refuse to hide within your manageable schedules and controlled talents.  Explore.  Dream. Imagine.

And then…. dare to step out of your comfort zone and into His.  Nothing in life has us trapped by enemy pursuants but what God cannot part your Red Sea and provide a way of escape into the unknown wonder of your very own Promised Land!

Change your inner password from I’MAFRAIDI’LLFAIL to GODLET’SGOFORTHEVICTORY.

SCAPP to Host Celebrity Showmanship Event at 2017 Fair

The Scotland County After-Prom Parents are teaming up with the 2017 Scotland County Fair to bring some new entertainment to the summer event while helping raise money for the 2018 SCR-I after-prom party.

The group will host the Celebrity Showmanship contest at the fair on Wednesday, July 12th at 6 p.m.

Nominations are being accepted for any “celebrity” to show in special swine, goat, sheep and chicken shows at the fair that evening.

Cost is $20 to nominate a celebrity, which can include students, athletes, business owners, community members, church family, or just about anyone the nominator would like to see participate in the show.

A winner will be chosen for each livestock category, earning a special prize as well as the right to advance to the round robin show, where the top four participants will compete against one another in showing all four types of livestock to produce a grand champion.

To nominate participants, contact Dawn Triplett (660-341-0233), Melissa Anders (660-341-8969, or Tonya Harrison (660-341-1322. Nominee forms will also  be available at the Memphis Democrat.

The event is being sponsored by the SCR-I class of 2019 Scotland County After-Prom Parents.

Gilliam Family Illusions, United FMX FreeStyle Stunt Team to Perform at 2017 SC Fair

Members of the Gilliam family are pictured here performing their acts of illusion. They will perform at this year’s Scotland County Fair on Tuesday evening, July 11th at 6:00 p.m.

Gilliam Family Illusions will open Tuesday evening’s grandstand entertainment at this year’s Scotland County Fair on July 11th starting at 6:00 p.m.

Gilliam Family Illusions is a show involving their entire family.  They offer a fast-paced, contemporary presentation for audiences of today.  Energy level is kept high with the use of a lot of music.  But the most important aspect of the show is they share the message of the Gospel in a way the audience will understand and remember!

The evening’s entertainment won’t stop there.  Terry Russell with United FMX FreeStyle Stunt Team will perform at 8:00 p.m.

Terry Russell with United FMX FreeStyle Stunt Team will the entertain grandstand crowd at this year’s Scotland County Fair. His show begins at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 11th.

United FMX is a faith based freestyle motocross team that features experienced riders and a complete ramp-to-ramp setup.  They ensure a family-friendly, exciting, action sports exhibition.

Terry Russell, born in 1979, calls Jefferson City his hometown.  He started riding at the age of five.

Terry will host a meet and greet immediately following his show.

Missouri Street to be Resurfaced This Summer

Missouri Street in Memphis is set to get a nearly $85,000 facelift this summer after the Memphis City Council approved a bid from W. L. Miller Company of Hamilton, IL to resurface the city street.

The contract calls for roughly 58,000 square feet of asphalt to be installed by the contractor to create a new two-inch thick driving surface. W.L. Miller Company will also performing milling at all crossroads, along concrete curbing as well as driveways that will be impacted by the new road surface.

The work, which is scheduled to be done later this summer, will run from the Main Street intersection west to the end of the street, approximately eight city blocks. The project comes on the heels of last year’s municipal project installing new water lines along the same route. With the new lines in place, which should eliminate the need for disturbing the road for underground repairs, the city elected to pursue the better driving surface, a practice that has been followed on several other streets in the past decade.

City Superintendent Roy Monroe noted that the project will also including paving of the south parking lot at the Memphis Swimming Pool, which is located north off of Missouri Street. The paving was initially measured at 41×60 for the lot.

NEMO Open Livestock Show Schedule at 2017  Scotland County Fair

The Northeast MO Open Shows takes place Saturday, July 8, 2017 during the Scotland County Fair in Memphis, MO.

Following is the day’s agenda:

Pig Show: Check-in from 7:00-9:00 a.m.  Showtime is at 10:00 a.m.  The entry fee is $10.00 per head.  Purebred animals must show all breed characteristics.  The show includes Market and Breeding classes and is open to all ages.  Contact for the Pig Show is Chris Montgomery (660-342-7979).

Market Lambs and Breeding Goat Show:  Check-in from 10:00 a.m.-Noon.  Showtime is at 2:00 p.m.  The entry fee is $10.00 per head.  Market classes broke by weight and Breeding classes broke by age.  Health papers are required and the show is open to all ages.  Contact for the Market Lambs and Breeding Goat Show is Joanie Baker (660-216-4645).

Cattle Show: Check-in from 2:00-4:00 p.m.  Showtime is at 6:00 p.m.  The entry fee for an out of county exhibitor is $25 and for in county exhibitors the fee is $10 per head.  Heifers will be shown by breed and age.  Steers will be shown by weight.

Champion Steer – $350.00, Champion Heifer – $200.00, Reserve Champion Steer – $150.00, Reserve Champion Heifer – $100.00.  The Cattle Show is open to all ages and contact person is Curtis Mallett (660-341-6297).

Gorin Go-Getters 4-H Club Hosts June Meeting

by Sadie Davis

Vice President Morgan Blessing called the June meeting of the Gorin Go-Getters to order on June 11 at 2:00 p.m. at the Gorin Christian Church. Pledges were led by Dawson Crane & Tracy Huber. Secretary Lauren Triplett called roll by asking each member what their summer vacation plans were. Lauren also gave the minutes of the last meeting. Advisor Joanie Baker gave the Treasurer’s Report, announcing that the club had a current balance of $3,468.22. Council Representatives Kaitlyn Talbert and Shelby Troutman gave the Council Report.

The Financial Committee reported that working at the Boyer wedding resulted in donations from the Boyer family. Layla Baker reported that she had attended and enjoyed the Goat Camp.

Heidi Triplett announced that she had Club T-Shirts for members to buy. Joanie Baker asked that participants in the Super Farmer Contest tell her their t-shirt size. The club discussed the silent auction for the fair and Joanie informed the club that proceeds will go to the Salary account. Joanie passed around a sign-up sheet and asked members to sign up to work at the fair in either the Art Hall, Pepsi Wagon, or trash pick-up.

Joanie asked that members check their meeting attendance because they must have attended six meetings to show or sell at the fair. She also reminded members that SMQA requirements must be met to show or sell at the fair. Fair Clean-Up Day is June 24 and members must report by 10:00 a.m. to be counted for lunch. Wristbands for exhibitors are $15.00 at the Extension Office. NEMO Fair entries are due June 30 and you must have the leader’s signature. State Fair entries are due June 30 as well.

The next club meeting is July 3 at 5:30. Refreshments will be provided by the Jamie Triplett family and Jessica Huff will be giving a demonstration. The Azen Jolly Timers July meeting is on July 5 at 6:00 p.m. at the fairgrounds. July 8 are the Scotland County Open Livestock Shows. July 9-16 is the Scotland County Fair. The Gorin Go-Getters’ Art Hall slot is from 10:00-10:45 a.m.

After the meeting was adjourned, the club enjoyed popsicles provided by the Tara Huber family.

City Of Memphis Participates in Regional Cybersecurity Workshop

COLUMBIA, MO  –  The City of Memphis municipal utilities services participated in a regional Improving Cybersecurity Workshop and Cyber Mutual Assistance Orientation, held by the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA).

Memphis Utilities Superintendent Stacy Alexander attended the June 9 workshop in Columbia, among 42 representatives attending from 24 Alliance-member cities and utilities. The workshop was one of 14 regional cybersecurity workshops nationwide, sponsored by the American Public Power Association (APPA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The workshop was filled with information about very real threats and concerns,” said Duncan Kincheloe, President and General Manager of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance. “Participants left with issues to consider for timely action in their local systems, or to discuss with other community leaders.”

Participants in the workshop joined in exercises and discussions to strengthen security of utility computer systems and critical infrastructure. Information was shared to help participants evaluate cyber threats and response measures, and discuss cyber resiliency and physical solutions, including advanced controls.

The second part of the workshop was an orientation to a Cyber Mutual Assistance program created by Homeland Security’s Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC). Mutual assistance, used by utilities to recover more quickly from natural disasters, can also be used to address cyber threats for utilities of all sizes.

The city is considering joining MPUA’s member municipal utilities participating in MPUA’s Cybersecurity Initiative. Overseen by N-Dimension Solutions, the service would provide continuous monitoring for intrusion detection and alerts, and security management to help identify areas of concern. The program also provides guidance to reduce vulnerabilities, and action steps to shut down threats and reduce damage in the event of a threat event.

The Missouri Public Utility Alliance is a multi-state association of more than 110 city-owned electric, water, gas, wastewater, and broadband utilities in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, and Kansas. MPUA provides support to its members in the areas of electric and natural gas supply, water and wastewater compliance, mutual aid disaster assistance, financing, safety training, and utility operations. MPUA also advocates on behalf of municipalities on utility issues at the national and state levels.

Grant Funding Helping to Enhance Memphis Recycling Program

Another round of grant funding from the Northeast Missouri Solid Waste Management District is helping enhance the City of Memphis’s recycling program. Earlier this month the city council approved a contract with Memphis Lumber for the construction of a new 20×28 post frame building and a 18×53 lean-to to be added to the existing recycling facility, located at the intersections of Hamilton, Monroe and Strong streets on the southwest edge of Memphis.

Once the new building is completed it will house the municipal recycling collection center, which has temporarily been located in the old state shed at the intersections of Highway 15 and 136.

The project cost is $12,790. The city will install cement flooring as part of the matching fund requirements of the grant.

The solid waste management district funding, which is made possible through landfill fees, also allowed the city to upgrade the systems baler, a a price tag of just shy of $25,000.

City Superintendent Roy Monroe said the improvements will help make the program much more efficient. The baler upgrade features a higher capacity hopper  which will make the process much less time consuming. The lean-to will add additional storage space for the recycled items, which offer a higher price when shipped in larger volume, while also helping lower transportation costs.

Monroe added that the new drop off point should be more user friendly as well while also being located at the recycling center, further reducing collection times for the city employees as well as transportation costs.

Work is expected to begin this week to install the floor at the lean-to that was constructed last week. The new collection building has not been completed yet. Monroe stated that once it is done, the floor is installed and the collection bins are installed, the city will close down the former collection site and notify the public of the changeover.

Annual Woods Reunion Held Sunday June 18th

With fifty-seven family members and friends gathered at the Grand Hall in Memphis, Sunday, June 18th for the Woods family reunion.  Fried chicken was furnished for all attending, as was a beautiful layered cake honoring all fathers there – it was also Father’s Day – and others brought salads, desserts, and veggies.  Lucille Woods Cossel asked the blessing prior to eating.

Randy and Charles Woods were in charge of reunion arrangements, with many pitching in to help.  Bonnie Woods Schultz gave a number of “mug rugs” to adults and to the children she had magnetic gifts.

An added area of interest was the display of family fact sheets and pictures display.  Randy and Bonnie were mostly responsible for these displays.  More pictures are desired for next year’s reunion.

Alison Woods Widmer from Aurora, CO, came farthest and Avery Rimer from Edina, MO was the youngest attending.  Ivan and Virginia Woods claim the honor of being the oldest!

Attendees were Alison Widmer Aurora, CO; Andrea Krog, Clarence; Johnny Morrison, Alexandria; Nancy and Joe Plowman, Cassie Plowman, Scott Shively, Bloomfield, IA; Darla and Leon Steenblock, and Darrel Cossel, Des Moines, IA; Dianna Rempp, Lucille Cossel, Tessa Islander, Ali Jo Islander, Reasnor, IA; Golda Seybold, Vicki Shear, Don McClean; Alicia, Will, and Adrian Gore, Quincy, IL; Hollis Woods, Keokuk, IA; Junior Woods, Ottumwa, IA; Sean and Clarinda Woods, Lone Jack, MS; Dale and Christine Heaton, Richard and Samantha Heaton, Unionville, MO; Bonnie Schultz, Kirksville; Lowell and Darlene Woods, Baring, MO; Dean Woods, Melvin Lee, Sarah, Jaxon, and Avery Rimer, Edina; Jennifer Woods, Downing; Jim and Kim Woods, Arbela; Jon, Sam, and Shannon Rader; P.T. and Diana Woods, Novinger; Chas. Woods, Jannet Graham, Ivan and Virginia Woods, Kevin, Debbie, Matthew Woods, Buzz, Faith Ann, Merit, and Halle Miller, Pam Mallett, Randy Woods, Karen Shippen, all from Memphis.

Submitted by Virginia Woods

Wright Graduates from MSU

SPRINGFIELD – Missouri State University conferred 2,651 degrees to students at its 2017 spring commencement May 19 at JQH Arena.

A total of 1,995 bachelor’s degrees, 554 master’s degrees, 93 doctorate degrees and nine specialist degrees were conferred.

Shaye Wright of Memphis, Missouri, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.

« Older Entries