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 Alvey’s 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 Alvey’s 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, Shaw’s 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 Shaw’s 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 Heck’s 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 Mutchler’s 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 Alvey’s body, prosecutor’s 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.

White Friend, Where to Begin…

White Friend, Where to Begin…

Taken from the Blog Run the Race, published by former SCR-I graduate Nicki (Webber) Moore who currently serves as the Athletic Director for the University of North Carolina.

 “Black people don’t need to be convinced that anti-black racism, structural inequity and skin privilege are facts; white people do… White people have to do the hard work of figuring out the best ways to educate themselves and each other about racism. And I don’t know what that looks like, because that is not my work, or the work of other black people, to figure out. In fact, the demand placed on black people to essentially teach white folk how not to be racist or complicit in structural racism is itself an exercise of willful ignorance and laziness.”Darnell L. Moore, senior editor at Mic and co-managing editor of The Feminist Wire.

In the wake of yet another two police shootings of young black men, I am moved even further this time toward, and perhaps finally beyond the edge of my comfort zone. Sitting in the St. Louis airport returning home from a vacation, during which per usual I did not have to think about my race, I watched the Diamond Reynolds’ live stream unfold followed by President Obama pleading with us to be better than this, I realized I can not remain on the sidelines.

I don’t know where to start, but neither do most of my white friends and family. And, if it is up to us to fix ourselves, and I allow myself to be paralyzed by my fear, my busy-ness and my not-knowing, how can I sincerely hope that we will ever get better? When you consider that I have even been trained in these matters, have spent hours soul-searching, reading and conversing, and have a sincere desire to help, an even gloomier picture is painted when I am not actively, consistently involved in doing something – anything.

I am ashamed to admit that I’ve tried to shake it…that sneaking feeling I have had when hearing the Edmund Burke quote, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s been there – in the back of my head, or a corner of my heart – a sense of some kind that I am part of the race problem in our country if I’m not actively working to be part of the solution. I tell myself I’m busy. I tell myself I AM actively working – internally. I quiet that feeling by reminding myself that I have a demanding career, a family to support guide and enjoy, extended family to encourage and a home to keep. I’m doing things that help people in other ways. I retweet articles that strike a chord with me and that feel like they are centrist enough that they won’t terribly offend, turn off or further alienate my largely-white network of friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

But, it’s not enough. It isn’t even CLOSE to enough. Just like I want more men to start doing the work with other men to sincerely understand that women are their EQUALS – not because they are someone whom they possess (their moms, their daughters, their sisters, their aunts) – but because we are fellow human beings. Period. Anyway – I know that women can’t solve the problem of male privilege, misogyny, and everyday sexism without men being 1) aware of it, 2) educated about it, 3) moved to a point of action about it, 4) taking consistent, constructive action to change themselves, 5) taking consistent, constructive action to advocate change among others, and 6) taking consistent, constructive action to change the plethora of systems that quietly perpetuate current norms.

By the same token, people of color (try as they may) can not do this work of fixing our society, our culture, our country alone. White people carry an enormous share of the power and privilege and leverage available in our country, even though most of us are unaware of this fact. My white friends, if we want a country that is stronger, healthier, smarter, more Godly, more wealthy, more fair and more free, WE MUST DO OUR PARTS TO ADDRESS THE RACE ISSUES IN OUR COUNTRY. These issues belong to all of us, even if you can’t see it just yet – please trust that each of us can do something to help.

Stumble as I may, screw up as I will, I am going to try to help. Please come along with me to daily think about and generate action. Let’s start today.

Suggested action: Grab a journal and respond to these 3 questions:

How might I possess privilege (defined as “when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do.” ~Peggy McIntosh)? Some categories to consider:

Race

Gender

Citizenship

Class

Sexual orientation

Ability

Religion

Physical stature

Health

How might my privilege in any of these categories affect how I perceive someone or act toward someone who has less privilege in the same category?

What is one thing I can do today to use my privilege to enhance the life of someone else who lacks that same privilege?

I’ll do the same, and I’ll share the results with you in the next couple of days. Maybe some good ideas for actions will result. Maybe we can begin to peer outside of our comfortable positions of privilege to contribute in a more proactive, tangible, real way to making our small corners of this world a more equal, respected and loving space.

I expect it will be painful, I expect it’ll take some of my all-too-scarce time, and I expect it to be an inconvenience. I also know with certainty that if I get to the end of my life not having tried a little harder because it hurt a little, took some time and was inconvenient, that I will have defaulted on the glorious loan of life my God has given me. Who knows – it might actually work, it might in fact add a little light to the darkness, and it might be a rich adventure.

Scotland County Health Department Schedule

Thursday, July 21 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations. Nurse available at the Scotland County Nutrition Site for blood pressure checks from 11:00 a.m. to Noon.

Friday, July 22 – Clinic hours from 8:00-3:30 for fasting blood sugars, cholesterols and blood draws, blood pressure checks, immunizations, nail care, etc.

Tuesday, July 26 – Clinic hours from 8-9:00 a.m. for fasting blood sugars and cholesterols and blood draws and from 12-2:30 p.m. for immunizations, blood pressure checks, nail care, etc.

Thursday, July 28 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Greenley Research Center Field Day to Focus on Battling a Challenging Growing Season 

Kelly Nelson, research agronomist, will be one of several presenters during the 39th annual Greenley Research Center Field Day in Novelty, MO.  Photo by Logan Jackson, University of Missouri

Kelly Nelson, research agronomist, will be one of several presenters during the 39th annual Greenley Research Center Field Day in Novelty, MO. Photo by Logan Jackson, University of Missouri

This growing season has been a challenging one so far, with early dry conditions and escalating weed control problems.

The Greenley Research Center will cover both of these management issues during its 39th annual Field Day on Tuesday, August 9.

The agronomy tour will address innovative irrigation options in both corn and soybeans. There will be a follow-up presentation to the drip-tape irrigation system that was installed as part of Greenley’s Field Day in 2014. Results from its long-term drainage and subirrigation work focusing on yield variability will also be presented.

“We are currently utilizing both the drip-tape and subsurface irrigation systems this year,” said Dana Harder, Greenley superintendent. “Last year, it was so wet the systems were not used, so it will be good to see them in action.”

The pest management tour is back after a year hiatus to focus on cover crops in 2015.

“Weed control has been a big issue this growing season,” Harder added.

Weed science related presentations will be a focal point of the tour, which includes discussions on field pennycress and the importance of cleaning spray equipment. Field pennycress is traditionally a winter annual weed but is now being used as a biofuel and cover crop. Logan Bishop, a University of Missouri graduate student in plant, insect and microbial science, will showcase Greenley’s findings on the influence of field pennycress seeding dates into corn and how various corn herbicide programs affect field pennycress yield.

“Our work is focused on developing the agronomic management of field pennycress as a crop,” Harder said. “We have data-driven results to present from our initial trials.”

Along with the agronomy and pest management tour, there will be a beef tour. Topics include toxic plants and substances for beef cattle, pasture weed control management, and artificial insemination protocol evaluations for mature beef cattle.

Randy Miles, associate professor emeritus in soil science, will give soil health demonstrations throughout the Field Day. The University of Missouri-Kansas City AgrAbility Pharm to Farm Project will also conduct free personal health screenings for interested attendees.

The Field Day is free and open to the public. A free breakfast begins at 7 a.m., with tours beginning at 8 a.m. There will also be a program at noon that includes a free lunch. After the program, attendees can learn more about the MU Drainage and Subirrigation research conducted at Greenley.

The Greenley Research Center is located at 64399 Greenley Place in Novelty, Mo. For more information about the Field Day, call (660) 739-4410 or email Dana Harder at harderd@missouri.edu. For more information about the Greenley Research Center, visit greenley.cafnr.org

Clarity, Conviction and Integrity

Missouri desperately needs leaders of clarity, conviction and integrity. This year, we’re blessed to have an excellent slate of conservative candidates for statewide office. While any of them would be far more capable than their liberal counterparts, there are a few that stand out from the crowd.

For the past eight years, we’ve seen the damage that can be done by a liberal, career politician who has been more focused on the next office he can run for rather than focusing on the Missourians he was elected to represent. Jay Nixon has seemingly been absent from the office outside of making sure to veto as many bills as possible that were passed by our Republican legislature. It’s time to send a conservative outsider who won’t be afraid to roll up his sleeves and get Missouri moving again. Eric Greitens is the perfect fit for this need. Eric had the courage to fight for our freedoms in four deployments as a Navy Seal and we can count on him to fight for us as Missouri’s next Governor.

In the race to be Missouri’s next Lieutenant Governor, Bev Randles is the proven conservative we need. Though she is new to running for public office, Bev Randles is not new to the conservative fight. For over a decade, she has been involved in grassroots efforts to promote various issues, including standing up to the Nixon administration and securing the first income tax cut for hardworking Missourians in nearly 100 years. Bev knows that government doesn’t create jobs, our small business owners do As Missouri’s next Lieutenant Governor, we can count on her to continue to fight for limited government and stand up for the values we all hold dear.

When it comes to Missouri’s next Attorney General, we need an Attorney General who will fight for all Missourians and not cower to the liberal left. Kurt Schaefer is a proven prosecutor with a record of protecting our communities and standing up for what is right. As a prosecutor, Kurt Schaefer put away hundreds of dangerous criminals. In the Missouri Senate, Kurt has been a bulldog for our constitutional rights. In fact, Kurt fought against billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group and won. As the chairman of the Sanctity of Life Committee, he stood tall against attacks from the left and defunded Planned Parenthood in Missouri. He’s endorsed by the NRA, the Missouri State Troopers Association, Missouri Right to Life, and several of Missouri’s agriculture groups. With dangerous mandates coming down from Washington, D.C. that target our constitutional rights, we can count on Kurt Schaefer to fight back.

For too long, liberal Secretaries of State have used the office to advance their agenda. In fact, since 1945, Missouri has only had two Republican Secretaries of State. With Jay Ashcroft, we have the chance to send a principled, consistent conservative to Jefferson City to ensure our elections are fair and free from corruption. Jay has been a tireless proponent of photo voter ID in Missouri which will root out fraud and ensure that folks who vote are who they say they are, and ensure our elections are fair. Jay also knows that burdensome regulation stifle our economy. He will be an advocate for small businesses and farmers by streamlining the process for creating a business and stopping unconstitutional job-killing regulations.

I encourage you to get out and vote on August 2nd for these outstanding conservatives. Together, we can get Missouri back on track.

Ron Alexander

Memphis, MO

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, July 21 – Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Veggie Jell-O Salad, Bread, Baked Apples

Friday, July 22 – BBQ Ribs, Parsley Potatoes, 3 Bean Salad, Wheat Roll, Blackberry Cobbler

Monday, July 25 – Liver and Onions or Chicken Patty, Scalloped Corn, Buttered Beats, Cottage Cheese, Bread, Pears

Tuesday, July 26 – Roast Pork, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce, Slice Bread, Ice Cream

Wednesday, July 27 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Marinated Carrots, Wheat Roll, Fruit

Thursday, July 28 – Meatloaf, Mixed Vegetables, Cauliflower/Cheese Sauce, Bread, Peach Crisp

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, July 21 – Scotland County Health Department blood pressure checks here from 11:00 a.m. to Noon, Card Party at 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 28 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Scotland County Genealogical Society Holds July Meeting

The Scotland County Genealogical Society held their monthly meeting on Monday, July 11th with ten members present.  In the absence of President Darlene Johnston, Vice President, Twila Stevenson, called the meeting to order.

First, the secretary’s report was given with one correction being made followed by the treasury report.  Both reports were approved.

Under old business, some help was given by Dana Glasscock in our search for the Ft. Donnellson cemetery including location of the cemetery and persons buried there.  There were also some phone calls by other people that were very helpful in collecting information about the cemetery.

Under new business, plans for Antique Days in August were made.  Future refreshments and programming was also discussed.

The meeting was then closed for the program.

Two members from the Scotland County Ambulance District brought the new, recently purchased ambulance to demonstrate and answer questions.  The group learned that the ambulance is manned with two persons at all time.  One person is a Paramedic and the other an EMT.   When called out to an emergency, they are qualified to begin life-saving treatment to the injured or to someone having a heart attack.

One question asked was about addresses and how to make it easier for emergency personnel to know where they need to go.  The presenters suggested that one way to help, if you live in town, is to have your house number visible from the street.  Scotland County still doesn’t have E911 which would tell the dispatcher the exact address of where the call was coming from.  We are one of three or four counties left in the state that doesn’t have the E911 in place yet.

The new ambulance is American made in Sumner, Iowa and the first four wheel drive ambulance in our county.  The ambulance is equipped with a “power load” which is a lift in the truck that takes the cot from the ground up into the truck.  This feature is safer for both the EMS staff and the patient.

The new ambulance has all current safety features meeting or exceeding state regulations.  Funding for the ambulance came through a portion of the tax revenue that is allocated yearly to provide for the purchase of equipment for the EMS Department along with funding from the Scotland County Hospital.

This program was very educational and interesting to listen to.  Thanks to those who gave the presentation and thank you to all the ambulance crew and to the hospital for offering this service to our community.  It is much appreciated by all.

Submitted by Terry Arnold

Scotland County Oats Bus Holds July Meeting

The Scotland County Oats Bus meeting was held July 11, 2016 at the Nutrition Site.  Those present were Patti Brookhart, Lavaughn Ketchum, Benji Briggs, Barbara Cantril, Janessa Mathena and daughter Mary, and Clifford Ketchum, bus driver.

The meeting was called to order by chairman, Patti Brookhart and she also gave the prayer.

Roll Call and minutes of the last meeting were taken by secretary, Lavaughn Ketchum.  Barbara Cantril made a motion they be approved as read and Benji Briggs seconded it.

Patti Brookhart, acting treasurer, gave the financial report.

Some of the future trips were discussed.  No business from the Macon office was received.

Patti made a motion we adjourn and Barbara Cantril seconded it.

Submitted by Lavaughn Ketchum, Secretary

Area Moving On Program to Meet July 26th

The Scotland County Area Moving On Program will hold their monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at the Methodist Church starting at 1:30 p.m.  This month’s program will be Soap, Socks and Such by Leslie Eggers and refreshments will be provided by Memphis Funeral Chapel.

If you have suffered a loss, the Area Moving On group helps provide support through caring confidential visiting and fellowship with others than have lost love ones by sharing support and friendship with each other.  This is a monthly meeting with the time and meeting place decided on by those attending.

For more information or to arrange for a ride, please call Nelda Billups (660-328-6367), Laura Schenk (660-465-7363) or Chris Tinkle, Program Coordinator (660-465-7322.

Local sponsors of the program include The Daisy Patch, US Bank, Rose Hardware, Payne Funeral Chapel, Memphis Funeral Home, Countryside Flowers, Community Bank of Memphis, and Exchange Bank of Northeast Missouri.

Funeral Services For Pearl Grubb Set for Thursday

Funeral services for Pearl Grubb, 91 of rural Memphis will be at 1:30 P.M. Thursday, July 21, 2016, at the United Methodist Church in Memphis with Pastor Paul Smith officiating. Interment will follow in the Memphis Cemetery.

Visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, July 20, 2016, from 12 to 8 p.m. at Payne’s with the family present to greet friends from 6 to 8 that evening.

Pearl passed away Saturday night, July 16, 2016, at the Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL.

She is survived by her children, Russell Grubb and his wife Karen of Hannibal, MO, Elaine Briggs and her husband Richard of Memphis, Diane Duley and her husband Phil of Memphis and Jerry Grubb and his wife Lisa of Memphis, twelve grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, a sister: Winnie Fish of Hillsdale, MI, along with several nieces and nephews and many friends.

Memorials are suggested to the Scotland County Nutrition Site, the Scotland County Health Department or the Memphis United Methodist Church in care of the Payne Funeral Chapel, 202 E. Madison St., Memphis, Missouri 63555.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by logging on to Payne’s at www.paynefuneralchapel.com

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Payne Funeral Chapel in Memphis.

Gorin Fire Department Receives Funds from VFA Fire Department Matching Grant Program

Chris Sevits with the Missouri Department of Conversation Forestry Division is pictured here presenting a grant award in the amount of $2,855.48 to Gorin Fire Department Chief, Mike Parrish.  The grant is part of the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Fire Department Matching Grant Program.

Chris Sevits with the Missouri Department of Conversation Forestry Division is pictured here presenting a grant award in the amount of $2,855.48 to Gorin Fire Department Chief, Mike Parrish. The grant is part of the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Fire Department Matching Grant Program.

Gorin Fire Department Chief, Mike Parrish, was recently presented a check in the amount of $2,855.48 from a state matching funds program.

During July and August, matching funds grant checks for rural fire departments are being distributed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, Forestry Division staff.

One hundred fifty-six fire departments are receiving checks for up to $4,000.00 to help with the purchase of personal protective gear and firefighting equipment, for wildfire as well as structure fire suppression efforts.  The total funding awarded to Missouri fire departments through the matching funds grant program this year is $338,490.28.

Fire departments are required to match 50% of the funds which are provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the US Forest Service, Volunteer Fire Assistance Program.  Throughout the last 30 years, over $7.5 million has been distributed to rural fire departments to help them increase the safety of their firefighters and provide them with better firefighting equipment.

The total amount expended by the Gorin Fire Department, including the grant, was $5,805.00.  With this money, the department purchased five 5 gallon poly backpack pumps, one 1” yellow hose (100’ roll), one 1” nozzle pistol grip, two rechargeable flash lights, seven 1.5” fire hoses, four 2.5” fire hoses, and three 4” supply hoses.

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