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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A northeast Missouri man charged with killing and dismembering his neighbor could enter a plea next week.

Forty-nine-year-old Paul Potter of Kirksville will be arraigned April 2 on first-degree murder and other charges in the January death of 74-year-old Willis Edward Meredith.

Prosecutors say Potter stabbed Meredith, dismembered his body and set fires to conceal the crime. He also allegedly threw the victim's arms at witnesses shortly before he was arrested.

Potter waived his preliminary hearing last Thursday, sending the case to the Adair County Circuit Court.

The Kirksville Daily Express reports that a court order prevents attorneys from discussing the case with the media.
Published in Local News
JACKSON, Mo. (AP) — A southeast Missouri man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed two people in Cape Girardeau last month.

The Southeast Missourian reports that 22-year-old Kenneth Bell of Cape Girardeau entered the plea at a hearing Monday.

Bell is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Shannon James and Misty Cole. Both were shot to death Feb. 7 inside their apartment.

The next court appearance for Bell is April 18.

Witnesses told police that a confrontation began when James bumped into Bell on a sidewalk. Moments later, James and Cole were shot several times.
Published in Local News
Saturday, 16 February 2013 08:21

Missouri woman pleads to 2009 infant death

IRONTON, Mo. (AP) -- A southeast Missouri woman will be sentenced in May for the 2009 death of an infant at her home babysitting business.

Martha Farris, of Pilot Knob, entered an Alford plea Wednesday to first-degree involuntary manslaughter in the death of 3-month-old Sam Pratt. The plea is not an admission of guilt, but acknowledges that prosecutors have sufficient evidence to gain a conviction. Attorney General Chris Koster's office prosecuted the case in Iron County. Koster's office says an autopsy showed that Sam died of non-accidental head trauma.

The attorney general says Farris told investigators she swung the baby, "plunked" him down hard on a couch and elbowed him in the head. The case prompted legislation limiting the ability of Missouri child care centers to continue operating while charges are pending.
Published in Local News
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