Several murder cases and Stone and Taney counties either have, or are likely to have, trial dates scheduled for 2015.
Paul and Margaret Brooks murders
Anthony Joseph Zarro, 18, of Spring, Texas, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary in the deaths of Paul, 70, and Margaret Brooks, 69, on Jan. 31, 2013.
Christopher James Allen, 17, of Nashville, Tennessee, is facing identical charges for the alleged crime.
Police found the Brookses’ bodies after a neighbor, concerned the couple was being robbed after he witnessed Allen and Zarro taking items from a neighboring home and loading them into the Brooks’ vehicle, detained the teens and called police, police documents state.
“Preliminary autopsy reports indicate both Paul and Margaret (Brooks) died from stab wounds and both sustained injuries from blunt force trauma,” police documents read.
Allen and Zarro reportedly ran away from the Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch in Lampe two days prior to the 911 call.
Zarro was 17 and Allen was 16 at the time of their arrests.
Both teens were scheduled for trial in 2014 and had the dates pushed back.
Zarro’s case was transferred to Barry County and is set to begin June 30, 2015.
Allen’s case is schedule to heard Aug. 24, 2015 in Newton County.
Daniel Martin murder
Annmarie Jean Patrick, 19, of Kimberling City, and 30-year-old Justin Dion Tuttle are facing felonies in the death of Daniel Martin in September 2013.
The pair was arrested Sept. 30 in the murder of 28-year-old Daniel Martin, of Lampe. Charges were brought against the two later the same day.
Police found Martin’s body at approximately 10:45 a.m. in Table Rock Lake Sept. 29 at the end of Jones Trading Post Road in Lampe, according to police records.
The ensuing investigation revealed Patrick to be Martin’s girlfriend and Tuttle to be a close acquaintance, according to a probable cause statement.
Tuttle and Patrick were reportedly seen with the victim Sept. 26, three days before his body was found, according to police documents. Later the same day, Tuttle and Patrick were seen without the victim in his truck.
According to police documents, in an interview with a Missouri State Highway Patrol detective, Patrick said she, Tuttle and Martin drove to Table Rock Lake and she was told by Tuttle “something” was going to happen and to not “freak out.”
“Martin was then killed and she helped Tuttle weigh Martin’s body down in the lake and they then left the area,” the probable cause statement reads.
Tuttle and Patrick are being held in Stone County Jail on $1 million bonds.
Tuttle and Patrick are both facing one count of first-degree murder; a class A felony, armed criminal action; an unclassified felony, two counts of tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution, class D felonies; abandonment of a corpse, a class D felony; first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle and stealing a motor vehicle, both class C felonies, according to Missouri court records.
Marilyn Brown murder
Thomas Brown, 70, of Palm Springs, Calif., is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of his wife, Marilyn Brown, at a Branson hotel in February 2013.
According to court records, the Browns had recently moved to Branson from Palm Springs, Calif., and had checked into the room Feb. 21. An investigation showed that no one had accessed the room other than the Browns and hotel staff from the date the Browns checked in until the body was found Feb. 23. Hotel staff discovered the victim in her bed with a gunshot wound, the documents stated. There was no sign of struggle, according to police. The family pet, Thomas Brown’s personal belongings and the couple’s Dodge Durango were all missing, the report said. After Brown was arrested, police located a firearm in his hotel room, documents state. The documents state that Brown was known to possess a firearm and that he had been employed as a security guard in the past.
After the death of Taney County Circuit Judge Mark Orr June 1, a new judge was appointed, Jasper County Circuit Judge Gayle Crane. The original trial date of Oct. 23 was canceled, but a new trial date has not been set. Brown is in the Taney County Jail on no bond.
Andros Valentin-Vargas murder
Sean Roberson, 26, of Springfield, is charged with six felonies, including first-degree murder, in the death of 18-year-old Andros Valentin-Vargas March 29, 2013, in a Branson apartment.
Valentin-Vargas was found deceased in a bathtub, according to police documents. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation by strangulation. He also had cuts to his body, documents state.
Roberson previously made threatening statements to the Valentin-Vargas family, according to police documents. Police reported that when Valentin-Vargas’ brother arrived at the apartment, Roberson chased him from the apartment with a knife.
Roberson then fled the scene and was located in Lake Taneycomo and resisted officers’ attempt to get him out of the water, police documents state. He was eventually arrested and taken to Taney County Jail where he is still being held without bond.
As recently reported, a new trial date has not been set yet for Robert Campbell, who is accused of taking part in the 2012 murder of Russell and Rebecca Porter, of Willard. Jerry Norton, 33, accused of killing Melissa Sheridan, 46, in a Branson hotel Dec. 10, has a hearing scheduled for Jan 6.