Stories Of Abused Men In Missouri


 

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Stories

Woman has boyfriend/employee kill her husband in St. Charles

Two women convicted in plot to hire hit man in Warrenton

Joplin woman gets ten years for arson

St. Louis man describes abuse by his ex in his own words

Collinsville woman sentenced to five years for dismembering her boyfriend

Woman accused of killing housemate in Independence

Armed woman holed up in home in Kansas City

Bragg City woman charged with killing husband

Springfield woman charged in shooting death of ex-boyfriend

Blue Springs woman tries to have husband killed

Kansas City woman charged with killing ex-boyfriend

St. Louis County police foil murder for hire scheme

Brentwood woman charged in husband's murder

Woman charged with injecting cleaning solution into husband's IV bag in Jefferson City

Eighty-seven-year-old Springfield woman shoots husband for alleged cheating

Estranged girlfriend kills her three children then herself on doorstep of boyfriend's home in Jefferson County


 

Woman has boyfriend/employee kill her husband in St. Charles

Abstracted from article by Lisha Gayle in archives of St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Daughter of local judge is stalking a witness against her after being freed on bond.

Friday, April 3, 1992, St. Charles —Mrs. Lisa Dalton Suter, 25, of St. Charles County, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her husband, Alfred Suter.

The body of Alfred Suter, 36, was discovered shortly after noon on October 12, 1991, at the home he shared with his wife, Lisa Suter, in the 3100 block of Arrow Rock Drive in St. Charles County.

Mrs. Lisa Suter is the daughter of Donald Dalton, presiding judge of the St. Charles County Circuit Court.

While Lisa Dalton Suter is free on bond, she must stay away from a witness in her coming murder trial, a judge has ordered. Mrs. Suter had been driving by the witness' house, said Assistant Attorney General Kenny Hulshof, prosecutor in the case against Ms. Suter.

The witness, an employee of Lisa Suter's perfume business, had expressed concern to authorities that Lisa Suter had been in his neighborhood.

As a condition of Suter's bond, she must have no contact with the witness, nor may she go within 500 feet of his house in St. Louis County, court papers say.

Also charged with first-degree murder in the case is another employee of Lisa Suter's, Daniel David Johnson, 23, of St. Charles.

Johnson has confessed to shooting Alfred Suter in the head, but he said that he had done so at the wishes and instruction of Lisa Suter. She used her training as a police officer to help plan the murder and her status as a judge's daughter to assure him that he would get away with the crime, Johnson said.

"She wanted her husband killed," Johnson testified at a hearing Tuesday. "She said he was worth more dead than alive." Johnson testified Lisa Suter needed the proceeds of her husband's life insurance policy to prop up her failing business.

In exchange for Johnson's testimony against Suter, prosecutors have agreed to waive the death penalty, leaving Johnson to face life in prison without parole, if convicted.

Lisa Suter has denied being involved in the murder.

Johnson is in the St. Charles County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Suter's bond also is $500,000, but it has been posted. Among the properties that secure her bond is the home of her parents.

Many details of Johnson's confession became public for the first time Tuesday at a preliminary hearing in the case against Suter. The hearing was dominated by Johnson's side of the story. Suter's attorney, Joel Eisenstein, chose to wait until the trial to present evidence in her defense.

Daniel Johnson testified he had no malice toward Alfred Suter. He did the shooting because he wanted a more permanent relationship with Lisa Suter and wanted to share in the proceeds of insurance money. An insurance salesman has said the Suter's had a policy that would pay $200,000 on Alfred Suter's death.

Johnson's testimony was heard at the St. Charles County Courthouse before a specially appointed judge — Associate Judge Cary Augustine of Callaway County. All judges in Circuit 11 had excused themselves from the case because of the potential conflict.

Johnson admitted in testimony, "There were numerous evenings I got drunk." He said he had used over-the-counter "pep pills." Johnson also admitted using illegal drugs — including one occasion when he had been with Lisa Suter and he had used marijuana at the home of her parents.

Johnson and Lisa Suter had a sexual relationship and talked of living together or getting married, he testified.

Suter had hired Johnson as a salesman for her perfume business, L.A. Design. After their sexual relationship began, Lisa Suter approached Johnson "almost every day" to kill her husband, Johnson said.

Johnson agreed to commit the murder and tried unsuccessfully to recruit a friend to help him. Eventually, Johnson agreed to go by himself.

Before he got up his nerve to carry out the murder, Johnson made three separate trips to the home of Lisa and Alfred Suter, he testified. All three times he was invited inside by Alfred Suter, who had met Johnson at social functions.

Alfred Suter, born in Switzerland, had come to the United States in the early 1980s when he was hired as a mechanical engineer at Hydromate Inc. in Maryland Heights.

After Johnson's first two trips to the Suters' home, Lisa Suter was angry that Johnson had lost his nerve, Johnson testified. She then threatened to kill herself unless Johnson carried out the murder.

On Johnson's third trip to the Suters' home, on October 11, 1991, Alfred Suter invited him inside to watch television. Beneath a suit coat Johnson had concealed a handgun in his waistband.

When Alfred Suter fell asleep on the couch, Johnson removed a burning cigarette from Suter's hand, extinguished the cigarette, pulled out the gun and shot him in the back of the head. Authorities testified that the bullet came out the front of Suter's head beneath his left cheek.

After the shooting, Johnson said he had carried out some of Lisa Suter's instructions to cover up the crime. He broke out a window to make police suspect a burglar. Then he threw the gun off the Highway 115 bridge, into the Missouri River.

Johnson told Lisa Suter he had left behind some cigarette butts and a cigarette pack, he testified. "She said she would take care of them."

Lisa Suter "discovered" the body of her husband about noon on October 12, police reported. The night before, she had stayed with friends.


 

Two women convicted in plot to hire hit man in Warrenton

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© 1997 Abstracted from story by Tim Bryant, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

September 5, 1997 — Two women face long prison sentences as a result of their conviction Thursday of paying a hit man and another person $30,000 in a plot to murder one woman's former husband in Warrenton.

Jurors deliberated six hours before finding Claire Levvintre, 53, of Warrenton, and ex-wife of the intended victim, and Jannelle Rudd, 51, of De Soto, guilty of trying to hire someone to commit murder. Ms. Levvintre and Ms. Rudd could get nearly 20 years in prison each when U.S. District Judge Donald J. Stohr sentences them November 24.

The alleged plot unraveled before Levvintre's ex-husband, Jack, was harmed.

The hired gunman, Russell Leo Ralph, was arrested in August 1994 in Warrenton. Mr. Ralph, 52, of Chicago, later pled guilty of being a felon in illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun and was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Police had been called to the motel were Mr. Ralph had been staying after he skipped out on a small telephone bill, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Mehan. Officers discovered that a shotgun had been fired into the floor. They also recovered bits of paper from the room's trash can that, when pieced together, produced a map to Jack Levvintre's residence.

Officers arrested Russell Ralph, who later told investigators he had accidentally fired the shotgun into the floor while trying to unload the weapon.

In exchange for his cooperation, federal prosecutors granted immunity from prosecution to a Chicago man who was to have split the $30,000 with Ralph. Authorities said Rudd had planned to pay the Chicago man to find a hit man to kill Jack Levvintre.

Jurors deadlocked on a gun-related charge against the two women. No date for a retrial on the charge was set.


 

Joplin woman gets ten years for arson

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August 19, 1998, Joplin (States News Service) — A judge in Joplin is sending a woman who set her own home on fire to prison for ten years. Letitia Ford pled guilty earlier this year to arson charges for setting her home on fire in March while her boyfriend and her child slept inside. The boyfriend, Brooks Goins, managed to rescue the child and a friend who was also spending the night.


 

St. Louis man describes abuse by his ex in his own words

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September 2000 — My ex was violent to a moderate extent. She used physical taunting to attempt to entice me into a physical confrontation for family sympathy.

When I would never respond, she would lie and say that I pushed her. The typical child scenario of a little girl punching her brother and when he finally gets fed up with it and slugs her in kind, she tells Mommy or Daddy that Brother hit her. I never succumbed to the bait, although was tempted many times!

Also, she would literally kick me out of bed by turning herself perpendicular to me and kicking me in the ribs to knock me out of bed. Needless to say the couch and I became good friends!

The police knew our address well! It has been over two years since our divorce, and she still uses physical confrontation. The other day she body slammed me against her van in front of our two children. (4 and 6).

My ex-wife is a child from an alcoholic family with physical, mental and possibly sexual abuse.

Marsh

St. Louis


 

Collinsville woman sentenced to five years for dismembering her boyfriend

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by Trisha Howard

© 2003 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.

May 29, 2003 — Nearly seven years after a Collinsville woman shot her boyfriend to death, then dismembered his body to get rid of it, the woman was sentenced Thursday by a Madison County judge to five years in prison.

But Suzanne Johnson, 47, now living in Godfrey, was able to leave the courtroom with her family after her sentencing hearing. She will turn herself in to authorities at a later date.

Relatives of her victim, Frank E. Brown, decried both the sentence and Johnson's statement that she had loved Brown and was sorry for what she had done.

"That's not love," said Frank Brown's older sister, Evelyn Brown, after the hearing. "That's an obsession of wanting to have control."

Johnson was originally charged with first-degree murder for killing Brown, 44, on Sept. 13, 1996, at their apartment in Collinsville.

The crime was discovered by a Collinsville police officer investigating a complaint from the couple's downstairs neighbor that a blood-colored substance was running down her walls.

Officer Dan Arvizu entered the couple's apartment to make sure that no one had been harmed. He found Brown's body after he accidentally knocked the lid off the trash can, then looked under a blanket inside the container.

But Madison County Circuit Judge Charles V. Romani ruled that the body and Johnson's subsequent confession should be thrown out because Arvizu had no legal right to look under the blanket without a search warrant or Johnson's permission.

Johnson pled guilty in November to second-degree murder, essentially admitting that she killed Brown but saying that she shot him because she believed she was defending herself.


 

Woman accused of killing housemate in Independence

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Local news story — KMBC9

December 15, 2003 — Prosecutors in Kansas City have accused a woman of killing a man she lived with over the weekend.

Patricia Quilan, 39, was charged with second-degree murder and armed-criminal action. She made her first court appearance Monday. Police allege Quinlan shot to death Kemper Reid, 50, in his Independence home Saturday. She is being held on $300,000 bond.


 

Armed woman holed up in home in Kansas City

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© 2004 TheKansasCityChannel.com

February 9, 2004 — Police say they are locked in a standoff with an armed woman who is reportedly holed up inside a home at this hour.

The standoff, known to police as an Operation 100, is taking place in the 119 th block of East 59 th Terrace Circle.

Officers were called to the scene after shots were fired around 3 PM. Police said a man was visiting his pregnant girlfriend at the home when the woman's mother arrived. The mother apparently chased the man out of the home with a gun, KMBC's Tom Corvin reported. Once outside, the mother shot and killed two dogs that were inside the man's car, officers said. The woman went back inside the home, and the man and his girlfriend fled.

Police said they have been at the home before Monday's incident.


 

Bragg City woman charged with killing husband

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© 2004 Standard Democrat

February 9, 2004, Caruthersville — A Bragg City woman is charged in the shooting death Saturday of her husband.

At 2:30 PM Saturday, Pemiscot County received a 911 call from a residence stating a man was shot and an ambulance was needed. When Pemiscot County deputies arrived they found Gregory Allen Abbott, 31, of Bragg City in the bedroom of the home and determined he was dead.

Stephanie Abbott, 29, told officers she had accidentally shot the man with a .20 gauge shotgun.

Following an investigation by the sheriff's department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime, Mrs. Abbott was taken into custody. Charges of second degree murder were filed by Pemiscot County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Hazel.

She is being held in the Pemiscot County Jail, with a court hearing set for today in Division II of Pemiscot County Circuit Court before Judge Byron D. Luber.


 

Springfield woman charged in shooting death of ex-boyfriend

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Friday, February 13, 2004 (AP) — A woman was charged with fatally shooting her ex-boyfriend as he slept in the back bedroom of their home.

Stephanie Dawn Hamilton was charged with second-degree murder Thursday in Greene County Circuit Court. She was being held Friday night in the Greene County Jail on $100,000 bond.

A home health worker who cares for Hamilton's daughter discovered the body of Kenneth R. DiDio Wednesday during a regular afternoon visit. Investigators said the daughter was present at the time of the shooting.

Police said Ms. Hamilton admitted to shooting DiDio in the back of the head as he slept during a videotaped interview. A shotgun was found nearby.

Springfield Police Sgt. Mike Owen said authorities have not determined a motive for the shooting but there were no signs of struggle in the home.


 

Blue Springs woman tries to have husband killed

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By Cherryh Cluckey, The Examiner

Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.

March 24, 2004 — A Blue Springs woman who allegedly tried to hire an undercover police detective to kill her estranged husband has been charged with first-degree murder.

Court records state Amanda Booker, 23, asked an acquaintance to help her find someone to kill her husband, Zachery Booker, 24. The acquaintance became worried and contacted Kansas City police. She called Booker back, recording her saying she wanted a hit man to contact her.

An undercover officer posing as a hit man began contacting Booker on March 19, 2004, and recorded several conversations with her stating she wanted her husband killed.

The detective told Booker if he killed Zachery it would be permanent. She replied, "Good, the sooner the better. I want him out of my life."

Booker had no money to give the hit man but gave him her wedding ring, another ring and a necklace and told him she would share her husband's Social Security with him, according to court documents.

The detective asked Booker if she was sure she wanted her husband dead and she said, "Yes."

Booker gave the detective a picture of her husband and his phone number and told the detective she had contacted another stranger to have her husband killed.

Ms. Booker is being held on $100,000 bail and will be arraigned April 12.

The couple has a 5-week-old baby but have been separated since December, 2003.

 

To reach Cherryh Cluckey send e-mail to cherryh.cluckey@examiner.net or call 350-6321.


 

Kansas City woman charged with killing ex-boyfriend

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KSHB-TV

November 24, 2004 — The family of a murdered metro man, is blaming the court system for not protecting him from his ex-girlfriend.

Police say 32-year-old Maurice Landis was hit on Blue Ridge Cutoff Saturday night, by an SUV driven by 36-year-old Regina Williams. She now faces second-degree murder charges.

The victim's family says Ms. Williams stalked Landis after he broke off their relationship. Landis was estranged from his wife, Daphne, at the time.

Daphne says she and Maurice reconciled a year ago. They have a 15-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son together.


 

St. Louis County police foil murder for hire scheme

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St. Louis County Police

August 1, 2005 — St. Louis County police detectives have arrested a woman who hired a man to murder her ex-husband. On Friday, July 29, 2005, warrants were issued on Maritha M. Hunter-Butler, 30 years of age, of Caldwell Court, St. Louis, Missouri 63135, for Attempted Murder in the First Degree and Armed Criminal Action. Bond has been set at $100,000.

St. Louis County Police Major Ted Hylla, Commanding Officer of the Division of Criminal Investigation, advised the following,

"Our investigation began a few weeks ago when an anonymous informant contacted one of our detectives and advised that Maritha Hunter-Butler was talking about making arrangements to have her ex-husband murdered. The detective bureau worked with the informant to arrange a meeting with Hunter-Butler. As stated on the Probable Cause Statement of Facts on the warrant prepared by the Prosecuting Attorney's Office, we believe Maritha Hunter-Butler wanted her ex-husband murdered to receive money from a life insurance policy. Hunter-Butler was planning on giving a portion of the proceeds to the man she hired. Detectives gathered information and evidence concerning her intentions and also obtained a rifle to be used to commit the murder."

Chief of Police Jerry Lee stated,

"We know that due to the nature of this type of incident, we must act immediately and I commend the detectives for their thorough and quick investigation. The suspect, Maritha Butler, had contacted someone that she thought was a hitman and had it not been for the cooperation between the informant and our detectives, she may have been successful in committing murder."


 

Brentwood woman charged in husband's murder

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KSDK News Channel 5

Prosecutors say motive was $1 million insurance policy

August 11, 2005 — Prosecutors have charged the wife of a man murdered last January with killing him. They say she was the sole beneficiary of a $1-million insurance policy.

43-year-old Connie Raybourn of Brentwood is charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action.

Her estranged husband 42-year-old David Raybourn of Kirkwood was found dead outside the condominium where his wife lived last January.

According to prosecutors, Connie Raybourn got a 32-caliber handgun from her father last January 12 th . Two days later, authorities say she shot her husband in the chest, then the back.

She's being held without bond.


 

Woman charged with injecting cleaning solution into husband's IV bag in Jefferson City

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June 2, 2006 (AP) — Police say a woman has admitted injecting cleaning fluid into her husband's hospital IV bag, hoping he'd have a heart attack.

They say it happened at a hospital in Missouri, where the man was recovering after elective surgery. A nurse noticed the bag had been tampered with. The man is expected to survive.

Police say his wife admitted after her arrest that she'd injected a solution called "Oops! All-Purpose Remover" into the IV bag. She's charged with assault.

The alleged motive is under investigation. A police officer says the couple was "having some family issues."


 

Eighty-seven-year-old Springfield woman shoots husband for alleged cheating

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© 2011 by Andrew Jones, Raw Story

November 8, 2011 — No matter what her age or physical state, Dorothy Desjardins is a lady you should never cross. And that advice probably would be fully endorsed first and foremost by her husband.

The 87-year-old Missouri lady allegedly shot her 88-year-old spouse "Peter" Saturday evening after she confronted him about her belief that he was cheating on her with her hairdresser, according to Springfield police and New York Daily News. Using her walker to follow her husband into their bedroom, Desjardins picked up her husband's Ruger .22 caliber pistol after running out of books to throw at him.

Despite her husband thinking she didn't know how to handle the gun, Mrs. Desjardins showed that she was in full control by shooting Peter in the right arm while he tried to cover his face.

"I didn't kill him," Dorothy Desjardins said. "I just scared him."

Mrs. Desjardins was charged with second degree assault and a bail set at $5,000. Husband Peter was taken to hospital but is expected to recover fully from the incident.


 

Estranged girlfriend kills her three children then herself on doorstep of boyfriend's home in Jefferson County

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Abstracted from story by Leah Thorsen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

September 10, 2012 —Authorities say Lisa Cochran shot each of her daughters — Alyssa Cochran, 11, Autumn Cochran, 10, and Faith Ehlen, 22 months — in the head and then killed herself with a 12-gauge shotgun she had purchased a week earlier.

Ms. Cochran killed her three daughters and herself outside the house of estranged boyfriend Christopher Ehlen. She "couldn't take it any more," according to an email she sent about 8 PM September 5 th to Ehlen and other family members. The subject line of the email was "goodbye."

In the twisted world of redfem domestic violence, Lisa Cochran, 32, had been granted an order of protection against boyfriend Christopher Ehlen on August 13 th .

Mr. Ehlen told deputies he found Ms. Cochran's vehicle parked in his driveway about 12:30 AM September 6, 2012, when he arrived at his home in the 14000 block of Wilson Hollow Road in rural De Soto near the Washington County line 45 miles south of St. Louis. Because of the protection order against him he didn't want to approach her vehicle. Instead he drove to a nearby highway to call the sheriff's department rather than go to his home and confront Ms. Cochran.

Jefferson County deputies who responded found the little girls' bodies inside the vehicle. Their dead mother, Lisa, was on the front steps.

Mr. Ehlen stated he had tried to protect the little girls. Christopher was the father of the youngest child. The two older daughters were conceived in a previous marriage.

Family members of Ms. Cochran's ex-husband, Vincent Cochran, said she had a history of mental instability and previously had threatened suicide.

Lisa Cochran was the third mother in the St. Louis area to fatally shoot her children and then commit suicide in the last six months.

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