Press Releases


Purdy man charged with burglary

A Purdy resident, Justin Todd Taylor, 45, was apprehended last week under suspicion of the crime of burglary and stealing.
On November 30, the Barry County Sheriff's Department conducted a follow up on a separate burglary at a building on State Highway 76 in Wheaton. Taylor was reportedly inside the building when officers went to investigate.
The officer reported a pile of electrical wires and copper tubing sitting in a chair in the building. There were also several machines in the building that appeared to have the electrical wires and copper tubing cut and removed.
Taylor allegedly admitted to making the pile of tubing and wires.
Officers reported Taylor entered the building unlawfully with the intent to steal the electrical wires and copper tubing from the machines. Taylor had previous burglary and theft convictions.
Taylor is charged with burglary in the second degree. He is currently held in the Barry County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash-only bond.

Two from Cassville charged with possession

Two people were arrested in a drug investigation at a residence on Farm Road 2180 outside of Cassville. According to affidavits of probable cause, Lonnie Dunbar, 25, and Sheila Willoughby, 49, both of Cassville, were in possession of drugs when officers investigated the claim.
On November 28, officers with the Barry County Sheriff's Department went to the residence after receiving information about possible drug activity. Officers reported Dunbar had a glass bulb used to smoke methamphetamine as well as a baggie of methamphetamine and a syringe with methamphetamine residue inside.
Willoughby, who was also in the residence, was allegedly found to have a sandwich baggie with two blue pills that were later identified as Alprazolam (generic Xanax). Willoughby told officers she does not have a prescription for the pills and purchased them from a friend.
Willoughby is charged with possession of controlled substance. She posted a $10,000 bond on November 30. Dunbar is charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlaswful possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released on a $15,000 bond on November 30, as well.

Charlea Estes-Jones

Barry-Lawrence Crime Stoppers seeks felon

Assistance requested for locating Kathryn Gunter

Members of the Barry-Lawrence Chapter of Crime Stoppers are currently profiling cases that remain unsolved and seeking information on the whereabouts of local felons.
This month, the Barry-Lawrence County Crime Stoppers Facebook page features a case seeking information concerning whereabouts of Kathryn June Gunter. She is wanted for first degree tampering with a motor vehicle, a class D felony; possession of a controlled substance except 35 grams or less of marijuana/synthetic cannabinoid, a class D felony; and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, a class D felony.
Anyone with information on Gunter is urged to contact Barry-Lawrence County Crime Stoppers at 354-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-635-TIPS (8477).
Barry-Lawrence Chapter of Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for tips that lead to the arrest and filing of charges for those wanted for felony crimes. Tipsters may remain anonymous.
For more information on other features for November, visit Barry-Lawrence County Crime Stoppers on Facebook.

Melonie Roberts

Man faces 5 felonies after arrest

Other charges span multiple jurisdictions

A Washburn man on the run was arrested on Monday and now faces nine felony charges.
Gabriel Delossantos, 42, of Washburn, is charged with first-degree assault and resisting arrest in one case, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest in a second case, and resisting arrest in a third case.
A warrant for his arrest was issued on July 13, and according to a press release from Barry County Sheriff Gary Davis, Delossantos was arrested Monday afternoon at a home near the McDonald and Barry County line.
Barry County deputies, along with troopers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol and deputies from McDonald County Sheriff's office, acted on a tip and located Delossantos hiding behind a washing machine Monday afternoon. Delossantos was taken in to custody without incident after he was located.
His capture ends a months-long search for Delossantos by deputies, troopers and officers from Barry, McDonald and Benton County, Ark.
Delossantos is being held in the Barry County jail on multiple charges. His total bond is $132,259.50, and it is possible that additional charges are forthcoming. The first case's bond is $75,000 cash only, the second case is $15,000 cash only, and the third case is $4,500 cash only. Other charges include driving while suspended, non-support and failure to wear a seat belt. All felony cases are set for disposition on Nov. 29 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

Kyle Troutman

Employee accused of stealing from Cassville dental practice

The office manager of a local dentist's office is accused of stealing over $10,000 from the dental practice that changed hands to a new dentist in September 2017. According to affidavits of probable cause, the office manager of what was Dr. Carolyn Hunter's, DMD, and then Dr. Jared L. Spears', DDS, office took the money from cash deposits starting in December 2016 and continuing until June 2018.
The Cassville Police Department investigated the case, and Dr. Spears reported the office manager, Karla Monte Wolf, was responsible for deposits, and between March 3, 2018, and June 28, 2018, $4,932.40 was missing from the deposits. Wolf allegedly admitted to taking the cash without permission.
When interviewed by the Cassville Police Department on August 24, 2018, Wolf told officers she had been stealing money from Dr. Hunter, as well. An audit showed $10,195.50 missing from December 20, 2016, through August 23, 2018.
Wolf was charged with two counts of felony stealing $750 or more on Nov. 5. She is currently being held in the Barry County Jail in lieu of a $30,000 cash, 10 percent or corp surety bond.

Charlea Estes-Jones

Monett officer fires weapon in struggle

Suspect faces 4 felonies after fight at residence

Who: William Tillman, 27, of Monett
What: Is charged with resisting arrest, first-degree property damage, domestic assault and first-degree assault
Bond: $25,000

A Monett man is facing four felonies after a fight at a home on 5th Street and struggle with a Monett police officer led to the officer firing his duty weapon.
William Tillman, 27, of Monett, is charged with resisting arrest, first-degree property damage, domestic assault and first-degree assault.
According to a probable cause statement filed by Sgt. Paul Ferguson, with the Monett Police Department, police responded to a fight in progress in the 300 block of 5th Street, where two men were fighting in the upstairs part of the residence.
Ferguson said he went up the stairs and was met by Tillman in the hallway. Tillman was bloody and appeared to be injured, and he became aggressive upon questioning.
Tillman allegedly refused to give Ferguson his license and attempted to shut the bedroom door on the officer. Ferguson attempted to arrest Tillman, but Tillman refused, leading Ferguson to pull out his Taser. Ferguson said while trying to handcuff Tillman, he pulled away and spun around to his knees. Ferguson fell backward, and Tillman got on top of the officer and allegedly attempted to get items from his duty belt.
"I secured my firearm by moving my weight to my right," Ferguson said in the statement. "I was then able to un-holster my [Taser] again and I shoved Tillman off me, and he jumped back on me, grabbing my [Taser] with what felt like both of his hands.
"I was about to lose control of my [Taser] and felt he was going to disarm me, placing me in fear he was either going to seriously physically harm me or kill me, so I rolled over and drew my service weapon and attempted to shoot Tillman by firing one round at his torso."
No contact was made by the bullet, and it was recovered in the room. After the shot, Tillman stopped resisting and laid out prone on the ground. After he was placed in restraints, he allegedly continued to resist. During a search, he allegedly scratched the pain of Ferguson's patrol vehicle down to the metal. Ferguson's body camera and body camera mount were also destroyed during the struggle.
The original call was for Tillman attacking another man, jumping on his back, strangling him twice and hitting him all over his body.
Tillman is being held in the Barry County jail on a $25,000 bond. He has been arraigned, and a disposition hearing is set for Nov. 27 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

Man charged for shooting at vehicle

Suspect allegedly threatened to kill one victim

Who: Calyn Short, 20, of Aurora
What: Charged with three counts of first-degree assault, three counts of armed criminal action, unlawful use of a weapon, resisting arrest and misdemeanor property damage
Bond: Is set at $250,000, cash only

An Aurora man is facing a total of eight felonies and a misdemeanor after allegedly shooting a handgun at three people in a vehicle on Farm Road 1180 and Farm Road 2030 on Sept. 1.
According to a probable cause statement filed by Sgt. Taylor Lombard, with the Barry County Sheriff's Office, three victims were riding in a van when a vehicle pulled up beside them near the intersection of the two farm roads. The driver, who all three victims identified as Short, pulled a handgun and pointed it at their vehicle.
The driver of the victims' vehicle began accelerating rapidly to escape Short, who followed in his vehicle, allegedly firing multiple shots from his car, shattering the back glass and causing approximately $500 in damage.
One of the victims later produced text messages for investigators allegedly from Short that said, "I'm gonna kill you," and "Hope u like them kids of urs."
Missouri State Highway Trooper T. Coffey located the suspect on Highway Z traveling east. Coffey attempted to pull Short over near Farm Road 1170, but Short allegedly refused to stop and traveled at a high rate of speed north onto Farm Road 1180 from Highway Z, where Coffey had to terminate the pursuit.
Short had three active warrants for his arrest at the time of the probable cause statement's filing.
He is being held in the Barry County jail on a cash-only bond of $250,000. He has been arraigned, and a disposition bearing is set for Nov. 27 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

story by Kyle Troutman

Active shooter drill held in Purdy schools

Officers track two assailants in more realistic scenario

An active shooter training exercise at the Purdy schools on Monday brought law enforcement, firefighters and ambulance crews to the school for the second time in a year and a half.
Superintendent Steven Chancellor said the exercise is part of an ongoing effort to make the school safer. He noted that twice the district has had a parent say, "I'm getting my gun and I'm coming to get my kids." While around seven years have passed since there was a person who died in a school fire, and fire drills are held fairly frequently, tornadoes and active shooters, he noted, have become much more probable scenarios.
The scenario called for two active shooters, both entering from the west, coming down the elementary and high school hallways. Teachers were in their rooms. Loud bangs from firearm blanks rang through the hallways, followed by a loudspeaker announcement that the school was going into lock down mode. Several "victims" had been strategically placed in hallways for responding law enforcement to encounter.
Monitoring the response were Purdy Police Chief Jackie Lowe, Barry County Sheriff Gary Davis and Chancellor and Associate Superintendent Mindi Gates. Davis said he staggered the arrival of his officers, coming in groups 5-15 minutes after the initial shots were fired to more realistically reflect how his deputies would arrive, likely coming from more distant corners of the county.
A second team of two officers from the county arrived shortly after the first and gained access through the gym atrium. The lead officer said he would have broken the door if necessary to enter. The two teams of officers merged, taking defensive positioning as they advanced, meeting the second active shooter in the elementary hallway, where shots were exchanged. The second team led the advance this time, ultimately securing a suspect.
Officers were unsure that only two shooters were involved. Consequently, as more help arrived, officers gradually advanced down all the halls, some multiple times, looking for possible hiders. Casualties were taken to the school gym.
Several teachers noted they heard gunshots before they received the lock down notice. Davis said that should be expected. In fact, if intruders shot at the main office first, a lock down notice would likely not come at all.
While this week's drill was more realistic, participants agreed that in a real situation, more people would wander the hallways, creating unexpected targets, and teachers would not likely huddle down as easily. Davis recalled another drill where teachers secured students in their rooms, but the children spent time watching the activity out the window in plain sight.

story by Murray Bishoff (truncated)

Monett man charged with drugs after fleeing police

Charlea Estes-Jones

A Monett man is being held in the Barry County Jail after allegedly being found with drugs and items used in the manufacture and sale of controlled substances. According to a statement of probable cause, used in filing charges against him, Justin S. Butler, 30, of Monett, was allegedly found in a Monett park with methamphetamine, scales, and a methamphetamine precursor.
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 24, Butler was reportedly observed by Monett police in the 5th and Front Street Park after hours. Butler allegedly began to run through the park after seeing a police cruiser.
Butler was eventually stopped and searched. Butler was allegedly found with a plastic bag containing 6.5 grams of crystal substance, a scale, an over the counter medicine containing Sudafed-like medication, several empty baggies, empty syringes and other narcotics paraphernalia. The scales and crystal substance both allegedly field tested positive for methamphetamine.
Butler is being held in the Barry County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash-only bond. He is charged with manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.

Local officers will be conducting compliance checks

Registered sex offenders prohibited from participating in Halloween

The Monett Police Department will conduct registered sex offender compliance checks on Halloween night.
Officers will check the residences of registered sex offenders inside the city limits to ensure compliance of Halloween restricted activities.
Any person required to register as a sexual offender under sections RSMo. 589.400 to 589.425 shall be required on Oct. 31 of each year to:

Avoid all Halloween related contact with children Remain inside his or her residence between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. unless required to be elsewhere for just cause, including but not limited to employment or medical emergencies Post a sign at his or her residence stating, "No candy or treats at this residence" Leave all outside residential lighting off during the evening hours after 5 p.m.

Any person required to register as a sexual offender under these provisions violates the law and is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
"In past years, most violators were not in compliance because they did not post a sign," said Jay Jastal, school resource officer and public information officer with the Monett Police Department. "The results of the checks will be forwarded to the respective sheriff's departments."

Melonie Roberts, The Monett Times

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